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‘Twister’ strikes Aripero

Published: 
Friday, August 18, 2017
Roofs ripped off without warning
Kevin Peters secures his television after the roof of his home was blown off during strong winds in Aripero yesterday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH

With the crashing sound of her roof being ripped off and glass splinters piercing her skin, Alana Mayers rushed to cover her three-month-old daughter Anneisha as what she described as a “twister” swept through the community of Aripero yesterday.

When the danger had passed, the baby was fast asleep but residents held their hands on their heads as they witnessed the damage to their homes.

Mayers’ home was just one of many that suffered nature’s wrath in Aripero and Rousillac yesterday. By evening, chairman of the Siparia Regional Corporation (SRC), Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh had estimated that 14 homes were affected. However, they had not reached all areas.

Mayers, who was staying with her cousin Kevin Peters, suffered not only the loss of their roof, but damaged appliances, soiled clothes and furniture as heavy showers beat down. Recalling the frightening experience, Mayers said she was mixing baby formula when she suddenly heard a whistling sound.

“I just started to see the pole fall and the whole roof rip off. It was just a strong breeze and rain came. The window mash up and everything started to pelt. The glass pane shattered and cut my hand. I just grabbed the baby and hugged her until it was done,” Mayers said.

They were expected to huddle together at her aunt’s home last night.

After the ordeal, Mayer’s friend Kimlan Anderson became disoriented. Anderson returned home to find that several galvanize sheets from her roof had also blown off.

So strong were the winds that Elvis Harrichan’s roof was lifted off his apartment and thrown onto T&TEC high tension wires, causing damage to the transformers. Electricity was cut off, but T&TEC linesmen were working to repair the damage up to late afternoon.

Harrichan said the sudden change in the weather began around midday when he saw debris, leaves and coconut branches circulating in the air. As it gained strength, he saw his roof just ripped off. In Poptee Trace, Rousillac, Lenora Charles, 69, panicked when galvanize sheets blew up and her entire house was flooded.

Ramadharsingh said the Disaster Management Unit of the corporation was assessing the damage and that food supplies and mattresses would be given to the residents.

He said the National Commission for Self Help and other social services will be sought on behalf of the residents.