Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has admitted the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) and other State agencies must improve their disaster relief response times.
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SWMCOL—Dump fires extinguished
The fires which began blazing at the Beetham Landfill, Port-of-Spain, on Sunday have been fully extinguished. This was revealed in a statement from Solid Waste Management Company Ltd (SWMCOL) communications manager George Elias yesterday. Yesterday morning, smoke was still blowing into the city from the landfill, although to a lesser degree than the beginning of this week. Elias, in a release, attributed this smoke to a brush fire which he said was burning east of the landfill.
“The situation remains stable and all fires at the Beetham Landfill have been completely extinguished,” Elias said. He added that SWMCOL was concerned over the raging brush fire east of the Beetham Landfill. “As indicated previously, however, this fire is not located on lands administered by SWMCOL and appears to pose no imminent threat to our operations. “As is the case with all brush fires, the public is advised to take any precautions deemed necessary to safeguard life and health.”
Elias said SWMCOL would continue to monitor the situation as a public service and would provide further updates should there be any changes to the situation at the Beetham Landfill. The landfill opened on a limited scale from Wednesday. Elias said this arrangement would continue until investigations were completed. “Investigations into the cause of this latest fire are ongoing, and SWMCOL will advise of its findings in the coming days.
“Regarding our previous pronouncements as per the cause of this incident, we wish to elaborate that even though the fire appears to be the result of a ‘deliberate’ act, we have no evidence at this time which points to a malicious motive being at its cause,” the release said. Elias said SWMCOL was taking the steps necessary to increase security at the Beetham facility as well as to improving on fire prevention, detection and management on site.