PORT OF SPAIN — Over $109 million and rising.
That is the preliminary estimate of the damage in Diego Martin and surrounding areas after the massive floods and subsequent landslips last Saturday.
The estimate was given yesterday by Anthony Sammy, chairman of the Diego Martin Regional Corporation, who said he expected the figure to climb.
“We anticipate this amount to increase as assessments continue over the next few days,” Sammy said at a media conference at the Diego Martin Regional Corporation’s transport lot yesterday.
He said while the total initial assessment stood at $109,943,600, he expected it to rise.
“The initial assessment of the damage incurred clearly indicates the extent of losses to residents, with several families losing everything but their lives,” he said.
He stated that 12 houses, each assessed at $500,000, were “totally destroyed”. Retaining walls at 50 homes needed to be replaced and were assessed at $100,000 each, he added.
“To replace appliances like washing machines, beds and fridges and so on, we have 968 homes so affected,” he said.
Sammy said two centres have been set up for displaced victims — the Central Diego Martin Community Centre in Diamond Vale and the La Seiva Community Centre which, he said, was now based at the old rifle range.
Both shelters are being managed by the Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross along with the Diego Martin Regional Corporation Disaster Unit, with assistance from the Police Service, the Defence Force and a private security company. Sammy said “basic amenities” are available at the shelters and encouraged residents to access the facilities.
“This is a major disaster that affected the Diego Martin region,” he said.
He said the teams assigned to assist have been “ramping up efforts significantly” to help alleviate the strain on the flood victims.
“Rest assured, we are doing all within our powers to employ all the resources as possible,” he said. (Express)