Sunday 15 December, 2019

Declare flood hit areas disaster zones, MP says

Government’s response to the aftermath of the passage of Tropical Storm Bret has again come in for heavy criticism, this time from Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial.

In a statement, Ramdial said government and other authorities seem to be disorganised and not fully equipped or prepared to deploy the necessary resources to the vulnerable, affected areas.

The MP called on the relevant authorities to declare the hard-hit areas of South, East and Central Trinidad as Disaster Zones, something, she said, the Prime Minister should have done following tours of these areas.

Ramdial said declaring these areas disaster zones would ensure that the ODPM, Army, and other units charged with the responsibility for relief and recovery can be properly deployed to assist the thousands marooned in their homes. 

“A natural disaster is a major adverse event resulting from natural processes of the Earth; examples include floods, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other geologic processes. A natural disaster can cause loss of life or property damage, and typically leaves some economic damage in its wake, the severity of which depends on the affected population's resilience or ability to recover and also on the infrastructure available.”

“An adverse event will not rise to the level of a disaster if it occurs in an area without vulnerable population.  Areas of South, East and Central can be declared as vulnerable areas as the flooding has not yet subsided after three days with disastrous consequences, leaving lasting damage which will take years to repair. How can this not be called a disaster?”

“I therefore call on the PM and other relevant authorities to declare the areas of South, East and Central Trinidad still under floods after three days, where thousands of people and children are marooned, as Disaster Zones so that they will receive the urgent attention so desperately required,” Ramdial said.

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