Media Conference hosted by Minister of Rural Development And Local Government Faris Al-Rawi – Tuesday November 29th 2022

Among this afternoon’s announcements:

  • The Priority Bus Route will open to motorists from 6PM to ease the traffic situation.
  • Police have indicated that water is receding on the Uriah Butler Highway and motorists are able to utilise two lanes at this time.

Minister of Rural Development and Local Government, Faris Al-Rawi, noted that there was significant traffic on our highway today because the El Carmen/Caroni River overtopped its banks. He said even though the rain has stopped, the water level is so high that it made its way to the highway.

Minister Al-Rawi stated that Ministers have been out on the field and “there are some areas literally in a disaster state” where water is up to 10 feet high in some areas. He said “there are people in extreme distress.” He noted that there has been a great amount of assistance from citizens who came to the aid of marooned residents.

Arrangements have been made for auxiliary pumps to be brought on site at Bamboo #2 but with the Caroni River at full capacity, having breached its banks and crossed to the highway, moving the water out is a problem at this time.

Minister Al-Rawi stated that officials are still dealing with 11 out of 14 Corporations with significant events.

  • There are 141 major landslips reported, with 52 to repair.
  • 5,804 sandbags, 50 mattresses, and 32 coverings were distributed.
  • 42 persons evacuated.

Minister Al-Rawi: Over the coming days, personnel will be moving to render clean-up assistance.

  • Doing what they can to help the water subside (pumping etc).
  • Beginning clean-up operations and conducting damage assessment.
  • Coordinating assistance to people who qualify.

Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan confirmed that connectivity has been restored throughout the country. However, he said there are some parts where a single lane can only be utilised by motorists due to rubble still to be removed. In terms of flooding, he said there are some areas still under water.

On flooding in the Bamboo #2 area, Minister Sinanan said this area presents a challenge at the moment and they had to shut the pumps down there after they went underwater. However, the Minister said there are pumps on standby which will go into operation once the water recedes.

Minister of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales said information from the TT Met Services indicates there will be good and settled conditions over the next 24 – 48 hours, which will help with clean-up and restoration efforts.

Minister Gonzales said T&T is experiencing harsh La Niña conditions and some reports indicate that there will be above average rainfall activity until February 2023, followed by a harsh Dry Season in March and April 2023, then a Rainy Season from May to June 2023.

WASA has stabilised and brought back into operation a number of surface water sources. As of Tuesday November 29th, 2022, 13 out of 16 plants were brought back into operation. It is expected that the remaining three Water Treatment Plants will be brought back into operation over the next 24 hours.

National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds: There will be more engagement by the TTDF in relief efforts.

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