In case you missed it
By Andre Bagoo Sunday, September 9 2012
LAST week, US President Barack Obama delivered the most important speech of his presidential career, a cricket team from Afghanistan came to Trinidad and Tobago to play at the Queen’s Park Oval, a former junior security minister told the nation he was not drunk when he was held by cops outside a nightclub, a woman was tragically knocked down after attending the funeral of her mother, who had also been knocked down, and a big hole opened in the earth along the Beetham Highway.
The hole led to panic and rumors that the entire highway had collapsed; and that a nearby lighthouse had toppled into a gaping abyss. Panicked motorists clogged the Lady Young Road seeking an alternate way to leave the capital or enter it.
When the rain fell the next day, many worried about the hole, whether it would be filled with rainwater and sludge (in fact, it was sealed with concrete hours before the rain, though there is no guarantee that more holes will not pop open on the nation’s roads as the problem is one linked to aging infrastructure and the secret Byzantine network of underground culverts).
As the rains poured in Port-of-Spain, an incredibly fit vagrant bathed naked in the downpour on Independence Square, as though he was in the middle of a country idyll. He soaked a rag in the air and squeezed long chains of water out. In addition to rain and a supposed collapse of a highway, the nation also had to worry about tsunamis.
On Wednesday, the Office for Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) issued a press release advising that the nation was not under a tsumani threat. Apparently some hours before, the Pacific Tsumani Warning Centre accidentally issued a warning to the entire Caribbean region, in the wake of a 7.9 magnitude earthquake at Costa Rica. A warning means “a tsunami is imminent and that coastal locations in the warned area should prepare for flooding,” according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The ODPM said the warning was meant for the Pacific not the Caribbean. But the Pacific Warning Centre later quietly retracted the Pacific warning too. Mercifully, there were no tsunamis. But the ODPM took the opportunity to issue advice to citizens on what to do if there ever is a tsunami: run. Quite depressingly, they added, “Sometimes tsunamis may occur without an initial pulling back of the sea. In this case, a massive wall of water may be seen approaching land. If you can see the wave you are already too close to outrun it.”
One place surely to be affected if ever there is a tsunami in the Gulf of Paria would be the Parliament at the International Waterfront Centre. On Wednesday, Wade Mark, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, advised that all MPs will get Apple iPads in order to improve the functioning of democracy. High-flying MPs were also urged to engage in dialogue with constituents and to devote at least one day to discussion of ways to improve lines of discussion.
On Friday, there was a strike/march by the OWTU apparently in relation to Petrotrin. Many asked what the purpose of the strike was as the union had already successfully managed to win a 9 per cent increase in salaries. Union officials said they were concerned with moves by Petrotrin in relation to a “bunkering” arrangement which might deprive workers of a chance to share in profit as well as other issues. Amid the confusion, teachers – who, unlike Petrotrin workers, are still in salary negotiations – staged their own protest. Schools like Belmont Boys’ RC and St Mary’s College had to be closed and students turned away at the gates.
Certainly not one of those weeks which could be described as “more of the same”. Or was it? Email:email@example.com