Sitting under a tree in Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain, secretary of Fisherman and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) Gary Aboud made a tearful plea to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to mediate with
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Over $100m in losses in Diego Martin floods
The estimated cost of damage and infrastructural loss in the Diego Martin area and surrounding communities after severe flooding last Saturday is over $100 million. Chairman and incident commander of the Diego Martin Regional Corporation, Anthony Sammy, gave a tentative figure of $109,943,600 yesterday while speaking with reporters at a news conference at the Diego Martin Regional Authority's Transport Section, North Post Road, Diego Martin.
"These are preliminary figures and we anticipate this amount to increase as assessments continue over the next few days. The initial assessment of the damages clearly indicate the extent of losses to residents with several families losing everything but their lives," he said. Sammy said since the area had been declared a disaster zone and the cost of clean up and restoration work was being divided among the various state agencies involved. “A crew of over 1,000 people have been assigned in teams to help in cleaning up,“ he added.
The corporation will also be paying the funeral expenses for Everol Bentham of Richplain Road and Solomon Britto of Upper La Puerta who died when they were swept away in the landslides. Two people are still missing and there are still no confirmed reports about them. Several people have been also hospitalised with minor injuries. He urged those residents of the area who have been affected by the floods to utilise the shelters as all the basic amenities were provided there.
"This is a major disaster that affected the Diego region. Many residents in the various districts have been affected in one way or another. Teams assigned to the various task groups have been ramping up efforts significantly in an effort to meet the needs of the victims," he added. Sammy said over the next few days as the corporation strived to clean up and restore the area there would be periodic disruptions and closures of several roadways.
Over 229 residents had contacted the corporation since last Saturday for assistance, he said. He warned residents not to dispose of their damaged furniture and appliances as damage assessments were being carried out by the Ministry of the People and Social Development and the National Commission for Self Help.
"During this assessment, representatives will take note of the household items destroyed and physical infrastructure damage caused as a result of the floods and landslides. As such, residents are urged to not dispose of destroyed furniture and appliances until the assessment is completed," he said. Sammy said he believed the relief efforts have been good so far and that the corporation would keep training and getting more prepared in the event of any another incident similar to this one.
Areas affected by the flooding:
Chaguaramas, Pt Cumuna, Glencoe, Goodwood, La Puerta, Covigne, Rich Plain, Diamond Vale, Bagatelle, Blue Basin, St. Lucien, Cameron Hill, Moka, Boisierre #1 & #2, Petit Valley, Cocorite, Belle Vue, Morne Coco, Alyce Glen.
ODPM - 511
Flow Hotlines- 222-1859, 222-1860, 222-1830
Digicel Hotline - 387-0260
Bmobile Hotlines - 473-5398, 473-5556, 473-5546.
Central Diego Martin Community Centre, Diego Martin; La Seiva Community Centre, Maraval (based at the old rifle range).