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House collapses after torrential rains

Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Monique Abraham and her son Kaiden outside their home which collapsed following heavy rains in Caparo, yesterday. Photo by:RISHI RAGOONATH

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Pitched from her bed when her home collapsed in the dead of night, pregnant mother Monique Abraham prayed fervently for the life of her unborn child to be spared as heavy rains pounded the ruins of their wooden home.

Abraham, who is six months pregnant, was asleep in bed with her husband Ricardo when their ply-board house fell apart.

Her 16-month-old baby Kaiden Abraham and 13-year-old Jessica Johnson, who suffers from Down syndrome, were asleep when the wooden pillars supporting the house broke off.

Abraham said the children began screaming.

“It was dark, the light went out when the house fell. My neighbours started to call to see if we were alright. I was devastated. This entire ordeal was so frightening. They broke down the door and managed to get us out,” Abraham said.

She added that this was the second tragedy to hit the family as her mother-in-law died from a brain tumour in January last year.

Councillor for Longdenville/Caparo Ryan Rampersad visited the family yesterday and made arrangements for them to receive a National Self Help grant. Rampersad said his immediate concern was to find shelter for the family.

“We are hoping that the ministry will make the grant available so that these children will have a place to spend the night,” Rampersad said.

Anyone willing to assist the Abraham family can contact them at 320-0376.

Resident Derrick Balliram said the Caparo River needed to be dredged as soon as possible.

“When it rains on the Mamoral side, the water from the river comes down in a gush. We lost books, clothing and foodstuff. I didn’t have time to move anything. Right now we are assessing the damage. All our furniture gone.”

He said before the last elections, in 2015, some drainage works were done but it was never completed.

Ranjit Rampersad, of Santafield Road, Caparo, said the floods came after half an hour of intensive rain.

“We want the Government to clear the water courses so that this does not happen again,” Rampersad said.

In an interview, chairman of the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporations Henry Awong said several areas in the constituency were cut off when the Caparo River broke its banks following rains on Tuesday.

“So far, we are in the mopping up and in the assessment phase. Some of the areas affected by the flooding are Macaulay, Gasparillo, Mamoral, and Caparo,” Awong said.

He added that all disaster management teams were working to bring relief to the affected communities.

In Debe, a blind pensioner Golly Gookool, had to be rescued from her home as flood waters rose rapidly late yesterday.

She was lying on her bed when her son Krishna rescued her and took her to safety. “I was frighten to leave the house so I remain on the bed,” she said after she was rescued.


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