Several families are in turmoil after four homes at Belle View Village, Claxton Bay, collapsed this morning. Meanwhile, other houses close by are under threat.
While there have been no reports of injuries, residents have been left in a state of fear, panic and worry. One house plummeted as far as 200 feet down a hill.
Resident Giles Garcia recalled how he and his family had to scamper out of their home around 3 am when their house began falling apart. He recalled:
"We had tiles falling out the kitchen, tiles moving on the floor, and I got up and tried to open the bathroom door and the bathroom door could not open. When I realised the bathroom door could not open, I realise that something was wrong, so I woke up my family and I told them ‘let us get out of here, this thing look like it more serious than we think’.”
Garcia told Guardian Media: “From there we moved the vehicles out of the yard. To pass over the opening on the road we had to put red bricks to full it so that the vehicle could have passed over but we did get through. The house start moving… it start to sink first and then it start to slide."
Garcia said at that moment he was just thinking about his family's safety.
Residents told Guardian Media they had noticed the land movement about four days ago. In a Facebook post, Pointe a Pierre MP David Lee said the disaster was as a result of quarrying.
"I have just called the Minister of Agriculture Senator Clarence Rambharat to compensate the families who have lost their homes in Belle Vue, Windsor Park, due to quarrying at this location and launch an immediate investigation into this grave occurrence,” MP Lee stated.
The Disaster Management Unit (DMU) at the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation (CTTRC) has confirmed that it received reports of several homes being affected by land movement at Lp#45 Diamond Road Bel View, Claxton Bay.
“The area is in the vicinity of EMBD's sand quarry. The DMU field officers, EMBD officials and elected representatives are currently in the area,” a statement from the Corporation said, indicating that further updates will be provided as more information is available.