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San F’do caught off guard by oncoming storm

Saturday, October 13, 2012
Fishermen work together to secure their boats in heavy rain yesterday, on King’s Wharf, San Fernando. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH

As rough seas and harsh weather threatened heavy damage to parts of the country yesterday, the Met Office said thunderstorms and flash flooding might occur today. Trinidad and Tobago was nevertheless spared the worst of a developing tropical depression, which was up to late yesterday wreaking havoc on Barbados and other parts of the Lesser Antilles.


In San Fernando, many commuters were caught off guard by the heavy downpour and had to run for cover, while bursts of lightning and thunder caused several power outages. Fishermen at King’s Wharf had to work together to save their boats, which came in for a heavy beating.


Yesterday chief meteorologist Shakir Baig said at 2 pm that the low-pressure front that had been affecting parts of the Eastern Caribbean had progressed to the north of T&T. However, he warned that accompanying cloud formations would cause thundershowers from last night into today.


Baig said thundershowers were reported in Tobago and parts of the Northern Range around midday yesterday. He said the Met Office would continue to monitor the system moving off the northeast of T&T. Baig said T&T would experience cloudy conditions at times, with showers and occasional thundershowers today.


Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) CEO Dr Stephen Ramroop said all the required state agencies had been put on alert to respond in a timely matter, should a disaster occur. However, he said people need not worry as the depression posed no immediate threat to the country.


He urged employers not to act hastily to rush employees home as to cause panic and traffic congestion in the city areas. Ramroop cautioned against relying on information from unauthorised sources such as telecommunications companies, BlackBerry messages and social networking Web sites.


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