Prime minister Dr Keith Rowley says all residents on the seaward side of Bamboo Village Extension, Cedros, near the site of a major coastal landslip, are in danger and will have to be evacuated.
During a visit to the disaster site yesterday, Rowley said the Government was taking steps to relocate them to vacant lots close by. He said in the interim, those who lost their homes in Monday’s landslide will be relocated to the Lake View Housing Development in Point Fortin.
Having studied geology at university, Rowley said the landslip was a phenomenon called mass movement, which is based on the rock type in the area, which in this case was mostly sand. He said the sea will naturally damage the bottom of the hill, causing the top to fall, but the current incident was exacerbated by the loose soil type in the region.
“People can’t be expecting to stay in those houses, because the thing about this kind of movement and this kind of geology is that the action can be very sudden. If they hang around there too long and this continues, they might not be so lucky,” Rowley said.
“These houses collapsed and we did not have any loss of life or limb so to avoid that possibility, we are going to have to evacuate that little strip there and I understand there are about eight families to be evacuated so we will take that on board.”
He said it also made no sense to attempt the restoration of the road as there was no longer a foundation and anything else built there would suffer the same fate as the crumbled homes.
But earlier yesterday, residents expressed disappointment at the lack of relief coming to them after two more homes were evacuated as earth movements continued around the landslide caused by major coastal erosion.
Pensioner Maude Parmel-Francis, who has lived in the village for the past 60 years, said tears filled her eyes when fire officers requested they evacuate.
“There are a few cracks on the posts and a little crack downstairs on the wall and as this thing come and happen now, they said it is undermining my house. I have moved out some things today and I’m going to stay by my daughter,” she said.
“I really took this thing on, I cried and I had to settle myself because it is better I am alive. I still thank God nothing happened to my neighbours when their houses just collapsed.
It is a good thing it happened in daylight because you don’t know when you are
sleeping what can happen. It hurts, we grieve but we can’t do anything, that is the Lord’s work.”
Siparia Regional Corporation chairman Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh described as unfortunate having to inform the nation residents were still awaiting help with food and clothing. He said the corporation was already restricted by inadequate funding and did not have much money to purchase more hampers.
“We are calling on corporate Trinidad and Tobago to step in because the economic climate is tough. Things have been very harsh and brutal on this community…
“Can we get the corporate sector, the banks that declared all this profit, to assist these people? We are appealing to the national community,” Ramadharsingh said.
So far, the residents have received a food card for one month valued at $540.