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Tomas leaves $4M damage in east Trinidad

By RALPH BANWARIE Tuesday, November 2 2010

click on pic to zoom in
DANGER: Caution tape tied to metal barriers and bamboo branches warn motorists of a collapsed section of roadway in Toco following heavy thundershower...
DANGER: Caution tape tied to metal barriers and bamboo branches warn motorists of a collapsed section of roadway in Toco following heavy thundershower...

TOCO/Fishing Pond Councillor Terry Rondon said it will take about $4 million to repair areas in east Trinidad which were badly affected by the passage of feeder bands associated with Hurricane Tomas.

Tourism Minister Dr Rupert Griffith, the Member of Parliament for Toco/Sangre Grande and Chaitran Sooklal, Engineer at the Ministry of Works and Transport visited several affected areas yesterday to ascertain the extent of damage caused by flooding in the aftermath of heavy downpours on the weekend.

Rondon was given the assurance by Local Government Minister Chandresh Sharma who visited the north coast villages on Sunday that immediate work will begin on the collapsed Galera bridge. He was also assured by the Chairman of Sangre Grande Regional Corporation (SGRC) Keshwar Maharaj that the bridge will be completed within days.

About 40 families have been affected by the flooding. Agnes Joseph of Mora Trace in Toco said she lost thousands of dollars in items when her house and parlour became flooded.

Marlyn Lyons said she is fearing that her house could collapse anytime after its foundation was weakened by heavy rainfall on the weekend. She and her 11-member family have lived together at Mervyn Dillon Street in Toco for the past 40 years.

Four bridges affected by the flood waters are at Galera, Salybia, Penzance and Guayama.

Villagers are afraid that should the rains continue these bridges could wash away leaving them marooned. They are calling on the Government to repair and fortify these bridges to withstand future flooding.

Assisting villagers in clean-up activities yesterday were members of various self-help groups, the SGRC, Ministry of Works and Transport, URP and CEPEP.

Rondon called for a permanent disaster centre to be set up in east Trinidad to properly render assistance to persons affected in times of natural disasters.

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