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ODPM coordinator: Hundreds evacuated in South, Central

Published: 
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Soldiers stock their truck with meals to be distributed to persons affected by flood waters along Pluck Road, Woodland,yesterday. PICTURE KRISTIAN DE SILVA

Chief disaster coordinator of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) Rishi Siew said hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes in south and central Trinidad over the past few days.

Siew said in Woodland, which is one of the most adversely hit areas and which is still under five feet of water in some areas, some 260 people have been rescued so far and taken to shelters

where they will remain until the floods subside.

Siew was among a high-power team of officials, including National Security Minister Edmund Dillon, Local Government and Rural Minister Kazim Hosein, Moruga MP and Minister Dr Lovell Francis who toured flood-stricken communities in south Trinidad yesterday.

Speaking from Barrackpore, Siew said, “Thousands of people are affected. Flood waters have not subsided just yet in some areas and the rains are back. People are still trapped in six, five, four feet of water.

We just came through Woodland where was five feet of water in people homes.”

He said about 60 people at Kanhai Road, Barrackpore and surrounding areas have also been evacuated.

“Farmalls and tractors, boats, canoes are all being used to rescue people from their homes and bring them to safety. Peoples have been evacuated from Madras Road, St Helena, Kelly Village, Las Lomas. Rescues took place there as well. There were also situations at the Chaguanas areas as well, Caparo, Flanagin, Mamoral.”

He said the ODPM was working with other agencies to bring as much relief to affected residents as possible.

Dillon assured that the army, Fire Services and other agencies were in flood-stricken areas rendering aid.

He will hosting a press conference at his ministry today to address the flood situation.

Francis said the water has receded in Moruga and clean-up operations has commenced. He said they were able to get food and drinking water to some families in Barrackpore who have been stranded for two days.

Hosein said he has been meeting with heads of regional corporations and councillors and together with the disaster management units have been distributing hampers, mattresses and water.

Responding to complaints that help was too slow, he said, “The water keeps coming back. Once the water subsides things will move a little faster.” However, he said boats, tractors and high vehicles were being used to reach those affected.