Sunday 20 October, 2019

Government launches emergency response as flood reports surge in

As reports of countrywide flooding are coming in, the country's emergency response has been activated. 

The Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government issued a statement Sunday following a media briefing with National Security Minister Stuart Young and Minister of Works, Transport Rohan Sinanan, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh and CEO of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management, Mejor General (Ret'd) Rodney Smart. 

The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service issued a Tropical Storm warning and Red Alert adverse weather warning early Sunday as Tropical Storm Karen passed over Trinidad and Tobago, causing severe flooding in parts of both islands. 

The Met Office has since discontinued the Tropical Storm warning as Karen progresses west-northwest, toward the British and US Virgin Islands. 

"Persons are advised to take shelter in a sturdy place and remain there unless given the all clear. Only evacuate if your safety is threatened."

Minister Kazim Hosein visited the Emergency Operations Centre at Kent House, Maraval where disaster management operations have been on-going for the last 36 hours.

Hosein said the Ministry stands ready for any disaster. 

Minister Hosein noted that “All 14 Corporations are working in unison. We have taken an all-of-Corporation approach to disaster preparedness. Equipment has been mobilized."

"Our shelter management protocols have been activated and our DMUs are ready to provide emergency response in every community. 

Hosein said 10,000 sandbags have been distributed thus far, and people can continue to collect by contacting the DMU hotlines for their Corporations.

In his address to the media, Minister Young noted that no decision was taken to shut down Trinidad on Monday September 23rd, 2019 as Tropical Storm Karen is currently moving northwards. The ODPM and Met Office will continue to monitor the tropical storm activity and updates will be provided during the course of the day.

Following the press conference, Minister Hosein will tour the Piparo area today. He will be meeting with residents who have been affected by the recent volcanic activity in an effort to provide relief. The area has been cordoned off and the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service is maintaining a presence there.

Officials from T&TEC are also present to assess active lines.

Minister Hosein is also appealing to all citizens to provide assistance to anyone in need during this period of intense weather.

“Be your brother’s keeper. We are all in this together. Let us make a more consistent effort to remain safe and look out for our neighbours.”

Members of the public are reminded to contact the Ministry’s Disaster Management Unit at any time for emergency assistance. Sandbag distribution will also continue during the course of today at the DMU offices in every Corporation.

Disaster Management Units:

Diego Martin Regional Corporation: 800-DMRC (3672)

San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation: 800-SLRC (7572)

Arima Borough Corporation: 800-2ABC (2222)

Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation: 800-TPRC (8272)

Port-of-Spain City Corporation: 800-PSCC (7722)

Sangre Grande Regional Corporation: 800-SGRC (7472)

Chaguanas Borough Corporation: 800-DCBC (3222)

Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation: 800-CTTC (2882)

Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation: 800-4MRC (4672)

Princes Town Regional Corporation: 800-PTRC (7872)

Point Fortin Borough Corporation: 800-PFBC (7322)

San Fernando City Corporation: 800-SCDU (7238)

Penal/Debe Regional Corporation: 800-PDRC (7372)

Siparia Regional Corporation: 800-4SRC (4772)

ODPM: 511

TEMA (Tobago Emergency Management Agency): 211

Coast Guard: 634-4440

Ambulance: 811

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