Tuesday 20 March, 2018

Watch: 25-foot-high waves cause flooding, threaten sea wall in Guyana

Shelters were opened in parts of West Demerara after towering waves crashed over the sea wall in Guyana, damaging part of the wall.

Video footage shared last Friday showed waves up to 25 feet high crashing over the sea wall and damaging parts of the sea wall, flooding parts of the town of Uitvlugt in West Demerara. 

According to reports from Demerara Waves, Guyana officials have since opened two temporary relief centres at Uitvlugt Community Centre and the Uitvlugt Secondary School.


The waves were said to be caused by annual spring tides. 

Acting Director-General of the Guyana Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Lt.Col. Kester Craig, said the centres would house residents affected by the flooding and would provide breakfast, lunch and dinner.

A total of 33 households were reportedly affected by the flood. 

The CDC said it would be setting up 100 camp cots, 100 blankets, 100 pillows, along with cooking utensils and meals over the weekend. 

Acting Prime Minister Vice President Carl Greenidge, Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan, Minister Dr. Karen Cummings and Minister Annette Ferguson visited the affected areas over the weekend. 

Meanwhile, the Guyana Police Force will increase its patrols in these areas.

The Leonora Cottage Hospital was inundated with about 12 inches of water and had to be closed. Operations at the hospital were transferred to the Den Amstel Health Centre and the West Demerara Regional Hospital.

The Guyana Fire Service was hard at work trying to clean the hospital of debris and also distributed sandbags.

Guyanese officials said the CDC will remain in place for the next high tide, should these conditions continue. 

Residents were also cautioned to stay away from the sea-wall, however several videos showed residents remaining close to the sea wall as they attempted to record videos and photos of the phenomenon.

Residents were also warned to protect lives and property, moving themselves and their belongings to higher ground if necessary.