TALK CITY 91.1 FM COVERAGE OF FLOODING CRISIS IN DIEGO MARTIN

TALK CITY 91.1 FM listeners woke to the news this morning that the Diego Martin area had experienced severe flooding today. By the end of the day, there would be reports of 2 confirmed deaths and several people injured, along with millions of dollars in damage to property as a result of the Diego Martin River breaking its banks and several landslides taking place.

Following is a round up of reports posted by TALK CITY 91.1 FM on its Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/TALKCITY91FM, with the earliest going first…

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TALK CITY 91.1 FM spoke with CEPEP CHAIRMAN, ADESH DEONARINE. Key points to note:
– CEPEP workers found a body near/in a vehicle which was recovered from the Diego Martin River
– CEPEP teams have heavy equipment (backhoes) working in La Seiva area, which appears to be hardest hit
– Water heights of 4 and 5 feet in some areas
– Over 300 regional corporation workers and contractors are out and on standby to work; however, the height of the flood waters is proving a dangerous challenge to any rescue or remedial work being done for the time being
– Attempts are being made to coordinate efforts to get assistance to people who are stranded and cut off, as soon as possible

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TALK CITY 91.1 FM made contact with Local Government Minister, Dr Surujrattan Rambachan, earlier today. Both he and National Security Minister, Jack Warner, are making surveys of the extent of the damage in the Northwest Peninsula via air, with a view to determining the amount of work to be done in terms of rescue, recovery, and remediation…

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TALK CITY 91.1 FM made contact with the T&T Met Services team and spoke with Meteorologist Shakeer Baig. He had this to say…
– Some areas under flooding won’t be able to get real help until the rainfall stops and the flood waters abate somewhat
– Most of the island is still under overcast conditions and light rainfall. Cloudy conditions will eventually break up and the rainfall will abate. By nightfall conditions will be settled
– Once enough heating takes place as the sun comes back out, that should help with reducing flood waters. However, expect a couple of showers this afternoon.
– We are not under any tropical storm watch or warning.
– The rainfall we had today is in no way associated with a tropical storm or depression.
– The Met services are monitoring the weather conditions and will be issuing bulletins as necessary

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Callers in to TALK CITY 91.1 FM, from the Diego Martin and Santa Cruz areas, submitted their own reports on today’s flooding crisis:
– Reported cases of extreme flooding, with cars being swept away, and houses being filled with mud.
– There was a report of a body being found in a car that was recovered from the Diego Martin River.
– One caller reported that a family suffered a major landslide and two members of that family were hospitalised as a result of injuries sustained. One of the family members has died while the other is said to be fighting for their life at hospital. The house is said to have been lost

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TALK CITY 91.1 FM spoke with Communications Director for the T&T Red Cross Society, Leslie-Ann St John…
– TT RED CROSS offices in Woodbrook, near to the Hasley Crawford Stadium, have been flooded. Notwithstanding this challenge, the Red Cross team of officers and volunteers are doing their best to coordinate their response efforts to the flooding crisis in Diego Martin
– Red Cross volunteers and officers are on the ground in Diego Martin as part of the rescue scenario, along with other first responders
– Citizens are reminded to avoid attempting rescue efforts if they have no training, and if they are in a dangerous situation. Try to secure yourself as best as you can until experienced volunteers and officers can get to you. Do not compound a potentially dangerous situation by attempting ill-advised heroics

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Head of Radio Programming at CNMG, Gail Seegobin, who lives in the Diamond Vale area, filed this report with TALK CITY 91.1 FM…
– The Crystal Stream area has been badly affected by the flooding situation. Much of the area has been covered with mud and debris
– Part of the Diego Martin Highway is not open; Police officers currently are directing traffic
– In the Sierra Leone Road area, first responders armed with heavy equipment are attempting to clear much of the debris there
– Residents in the affected areas are attempting to clean up the debris right now, given the clearing up of weather conditions
– Citizens are going about their business as best as they possibly can, despite the challenges brought on by the flooding crisis
– The roads are very muddy coming out of the West; the roads are very treacherous at this time; very bad with filth, mud and debris which came from the Diego Martin River

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Report from a Caller from Santa Cruz to TALK CITY 91.1 FM…
– On Saddle Road going west there are 2 large land slippages; caution tape has been applied to warn drivers. Exercise caution when using the Saddle Road
– Road has been cleared on the other side near to the school

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Report from a Caller from Diego Martin who is a taxi driver, to TALK CITY 91.1 FM…
– Coming from Richplain area, there was an accident involving two cars – one overturned on the other
– A couple walls on some properties have been washed away
– Several sections of the road blocked off to facilitate work carried out by first responders

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CEPEP says to send an email to adeonarine@cepep.co.tt, to get in your requests for assistance with cleaning up and rescue operations. CEPEP will attempt to coordinate their efforts on your behalf to bring your relief as quickly as possible…

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Here at TALK CITY, We will continue to share the information with you as quickly as we get it from our first responders and other officials, on the progress of clearing up works following the Diego Martin Flooding Crisis. If you wish to make a report that can help the first responders and other officials in their efforts:
– call in to TALK CITY at 622-4911 and file your report with our on-air presenters, or
– make a post on this Facebook page, and we’ll air your report and get the info to them

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TALK CITY 91.1 FM spoke with CTV Meteorologist, Ean Wallace, on the Diego Martin Flooding Crisis
– The rains will ease up and come to an end; we can expect brighter and sunnier weather by tomorrow
– We are not under any tropical storm watch or warning
– There have been several reports of landslides and the Diego Martin River breaking its banks
– Much of the damage today may well be as a result of the over-development that has been happening in the Diego Martin Valley area and the hills
– Today’s rains were typical for this time of year
– We are now in the wettest part of the wet season right now – July to August period. Also, this event may happen again later on this year during November, so be alert and prepare for that eventuality

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Request assistance from the ODPM (Office of Disaster Preredness and Management):
– Call their hotline number, 800-ODPM (800-6376)
– If you are having trouble accessing the main hotline, use their new Emergency Line – 511

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WEATHER FORECAST ISSUED BY TT MET SERVICES @ 11 A.M. TODAY…

ISSUED AT: 11:08AM
Date:Saturday 11th of August 2012

Meteorologist: Bagwandeen Ramdatt

FOR THE PERIOD THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT:
TRINIDAD,TOBAGO AND THE Southern Windwards:
Periods of light rain and moderate to heavy
showers are expected throughout the afternoon.
Thundershowers are likely early afternoon.
Intermittent light rain is expected to continue
into the night.

THE REMAINDER OF THE LESSER ANTILLES
Light to moderate showers in few confined areas.

Gusty winds, street and flash flooding may occur
in heavy showers and thundershowers.

SEAS: Normal
WAVES: Up to 2.0mIN OPEN WATERS
Less than 1.0m IN SHLTD AREAS

Temperature Units:Celsius
FORECAST MAX TEMP.
Piarco: 28 Crown Point: 28

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ODPM Public Advisory # 2 – Flash Flooding and High Water Levels at La Horquette Valley Road
Sat, 2012-08-11 12:28 | arlinitimal
Date & Time: Saturday August 11, 2012 – 11:30 a.m.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management has received reports that residents in Westvale Park, Holder Drive and La Horquette Valley Road have been marooned due to a collapsed bridge. Additionally, the flash flooding in Glencoe/Carenage area has resulted in the destruction of the roadway with asphalt eroded and Westvale Avenue under many feet of water. Residents are being asked to find safer shelter and move to higher ground. All residents affected should ensure they are safe and take all precautions to preserve life.

The ODPM continues to coordinate the first responder agencies (TT Fire Service, TT Defence Force and the municipal corporations) on the ground so that immediate assistance can be rendered. The ODPM wishes to advise all citizens that if they unable to reach the ODPM via 800-6376 please contact us at our 511 line for assistance. If anyone is marooned or affected by this flooding, they must contact their municipal corporation or the ODPM at 511 or 800-6376.

Consequently, we continue to underscore the following:-
– After heavy rainfall, stay inside until water levels have subsided and it is safe to venture outside.
– Do not walk / drive through flood waters.
– Be cautious when walking /driving along hillsides or landslide prone areas.

Trinidad and Tobago is NOT currently under any Tropical Storm threat, Watch or Warning. The TT Meteorological Service is monitoring this weather condition and will advise the ODPM if there is a drastic change. -ENDS-

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Members of the ST JAMES POLICE YOUTH CLUB have been working hard in the Crystal Stream area to help residents with their clean up operations. If you need help, call 632-6084 and ask for Officers Guerra or Charbodie, who will coordinate a team of club members to render assistance…

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TALK CITY 91.1 FM linked up with Meteorologist Shakeer Baig again today, who noted the following:
– Some areas experienced heavier rainfall than others today. The Diego Martin area may have experienced as much as 80mm of rainfall this morning
– Expect weather conditions to settle down later today
– High tide was at 11.42 am,and at that time, there were already signs of flood waters reducing. The runoff from the hills decreased with the rain stopping. Flood waters should continue to subside.
– There should be sunshine tomorrow, with a couple light showers (dependeing on the amount of moisture still hanging over the islands), but nothing as heavy as we saw today

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If you are stranded or need assistance, contact your Regional Corporation. You can access the contact numbers for your respective Regional Corporation, here http://odpm.gov.tt/node/82

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REPORT FROM C-NEWS CENTRE AT CNMG…

One killed after heavy rains in Diego Martin

Saturday 11th August, 2012

A man from La Puerta, Diego Martin lost his life when his house collapsed after heavy rains and landslides in the area.

The man has been identified as Everald Bentham.

C News understands he was killed when his home on the La Puerta hillside collapsed around 7am on Saturday.

His mother, who was at home at the time of the incident, sustained a broken leg.

Mr. Bentham was a taxi driver.

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Ag. Head of News & Current Affairs at the C-NEWS Centre, Sandra Maharaj, gave TALK CITY 91.1 FM a quick update on the Diego Martin Flooding Crisis…
– Maraval and Diego Martin areas were worst hit today
– One man was washed away by run-off from the hills which swept through his house; his body has not been recovered
– Another man in the La Puerta area died of his injuries after his house collapsed with a landslide. His mother was also hospitalised, along with a pregnant sister, who were in the house at the time
– Government ministers have been out and about working with first responders, and doing assessments of the damage caused by the flooding
– ODPM has been coordinating the activities of the first responders
– Cabinet Ministers are meeting at Diplomatic Centre at this time. Government will issue a formal media briefing soon on how it intends to deal with the current flooding crisis. CTV and TALK CITY 91.1 FM will broadcast this media conference live

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Stay tuned to TALK CITY 91.1 FM as we take the story forward and begin looking at some of the implications of today’s Flooding Crisis in the Diego Martin area. We’ll attempt to get answers to these questions, among others:
– What are the implications for the health of citizens there, in terms of dengue and other related diseases?
– How long would it take to recover from a crisis of this magnitude?
– Are the support systems currently in place adequate to the task?
– What will be government’s response to this perennial problem of flooding in this and other areas across the country?

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ODPMTT reports that two shelters have been opened: Diego Martin Central Community Centre and the La Seiva Community Centre

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Latest on the situation with amenities and utilities in the Flood Crisis areas…
– T&TEC and TSTT are working hand in hand to to restore electricity to those affected areas within the next four hours. (Posted at 4 p.m.)

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It’s a bittersweet day for T&T… Our country’s second Olympic Gold Medal ever comes on the heels of a major flooding crisis in Northwest Trinidad. A quick update on that situation…
– There is no phone service in the Diego Martin area because the telecoms Exchange was flooded out
– The Diego Martin Highway has been closed from Acton Court to Sierra Leone Road because of cleaning efforts on the Highway. Alternative routes are Diego Martin Main Road and Petit Valley Road. These are open, but expect slow going as all traffic has been diverted from other areas to these roadways

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The government media briefing on the Diego Martin Flooding Crisis aired on TALK CITY 91.1 FM at 5 p.m. Key highlights follow…
– The prime minister has declared the Diego Martin region a disaster area
– Almost two dozen people have been housed in shelters
– The HDC has also moved quickly to provide emergency housing for some of those affected by today’s Flooding Crisis
– Many lives were saved today because of the prompt action by first responders, and a well coordinated response effort, overall
– Today’s crisis response is being described as the best ever and most successful effort in the country’s history
– Police Officers from the Western Division have been deployed to help maintain law and order in the Diego Martin region

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In the midst of the euphoria of Keshorn’s great achievement, there are many Trinis in great distress today because of the Flooding Crisis in the Diego Martin area. Here is the most recent WEATHER FORECAST issued by TT Met Services…

ISSUED AT: 05:34PM
Date:Saturday 11th of August 2012
Meteorologist: Bagwandeen Ramdatt

FOR THE PERIOD TONIGHT AND TOMORROW:

Tonight:
Trinidad,Tobago & the Windwards:
Tonight: Periods of light rain.
The Remainder of the Lesser Antilles:
Tonight: Mostly clear night.

Tomorrow:
Trinidad,Tobago & the Windwards:
Tomorrow: Light to moderate showers in varying
localities will interrupt sunny conditions.
The Remainder of the Lesser Antilles:
Tomorrow: Predominantly sunny.

Temperature Units:Celsius
Piarco Crown Point
TODAY’S MAX TEMP. 27.2 27.9
Tomorrow MAX. TEMP. 32 31
Tomorrow MIN. TEMP. 24 24
Heat Index: 37 34

Rainfall(mm) 2pm to 2pm.: 29.9mm
Cumulative for Piarco: 101.3mm

SEAS: Normal
WAVES: 2.0m IN OPEN WATERS
Less than 1.0m IN SHLTD AREAS
Sunrise: 05:56amAM Sunset: 06:25pmPM
Tides
Port of Spain HIGH **:** 01:07pm LOW 06:22am 05:46pm
Scarborough HIGH **:** 01:07pm LOW 06:50am 05:38pm

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TALK CITY 91.1 FM’s Raymond Edwards, who lives in Diego Martin, reported the following…
– WASA trucks and heavy equipment belonging to the Diego Martin Regional Corporation have been working assiduously to restore normalcy to the crisis areas
– Army officers are in the area, providing additional support to the other first responders who have been working to bring relief to the area all day
– Once you leave the Diego Martin area you will be able to get telephone reception; there is no phone capability from TSTT land lines and mobile phones because the telecoms exchange for the area was completely flooded out
– Try to direct your requests for help to the regional corporation
– Do not attempt any heroics if you have been placed in a dangerous / precarious situation as a result of the flooding. Try to secure personal safety as best as you possibly can

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ODPM SITUATION UPDATE ON DIEGO MARTIN FLOOD CRISIS

by TALK CITY 91.1 FM on Saturday, 11 August 2012 at 18:37

ODPM Situation Update: Severe weather causes landslides and flooding

Sat, 2012-08-11 16:26 |  kmaurice

The severe weather that has been affecting Trinidad and Tobago today has caused flooding and landslides throughout the country particularly along the North Western peninsula. This weather has been attributed to the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) enhanced by a low level trough.

Landslides have been reported in :- Rich Plain Road, West Ridge Villas, Diego Martin Main Road, North Coast Road, Santa Cruz (from La Canoa to La Pastora), Morne Coco Road, Factory Road, Maraval, Paramin, Simeon Road, Paria, Blanchissuesse.

Flood reports have been received from:-

Rich Plain, Petite Valley, Diamond Vale, La Seiva, Pine Wood Gardens, New Yalta, Sairbieu, Queen Elizabeth Avenuue, B Sinai Street, Saddle Road, Mount Lambert, Sam Beaucaud, Blazzley Carenage, Woodbrook (Ariapita Avenue and Fitzblackman Drive), Arima (Beckles Avenue and Upper Mausica Road), Sangre Grande (Coalmine Road) and Tobago (Plymouth).

Six persons are trapped in a home on Clover Street, Morne Coco Road and the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service is providing rescue relief.

There has been one confirmed death where the body of a man was removed along the Diego Martin Main Road by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service. There is one unconfirmed death in La Puerta.

Currently, relief efforts have begun through the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Engineering Battalion, CEPEP, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and the Disaster Management Units of the Regional Corporations.

Citizens are asked to do the following after a flood event:-

  • Stay away from flood waters. The water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. The water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Stay away from moving water. Moving water only six inches deep can sweep you off your feet.
  • Be aware of areas where flood waters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • Stay away from downed utility lines and report them to the releavant authorities.
  • Stay away from disaster areas.
  • Consider your family’s health and safety needs. Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water if you come in contact with flood waters. Throw away food that has come in contact with flood waters. Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.

The ODPM is closely monitoring the situation, coordinating relief efforts and will issue more information as it becomes available. Please continue to adopt safety measures to ensure the protection of life and property and closely monitor all media for updates from the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service and the ODPM.  If you have been impacted you can contact your regional municipal corporation or our Emergency Call Centre at 511. -END-

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About talkcity91.1fm

TALK CITY 91.1 FM brings a different approach to talk radio. We like the idea of giving everyone an equal chance to talk. In TALK CITY, you find presenters who WILL NOT yell at you, insult you or make you feel small when you have your say. We're all about democracy and free speech in this CITY! And we're also big on local music and culture: our musical playlist comprises only acts from Trinidad & Tobago and the Caribbean...

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