Five houses are slowly sinking into a precipice at Diamond Village, San Fernando, leaving residents frightened for their lives.
The landslip, triggered by a leaking water main, has forced some families to abandon the lower sections of their home.
Glass windows have shattered and huge holes have developed under the houses. The dirt has risen up to five feet in some places causing the destruction of cesspits, garages and sewage lines. One of the houses has already sunk more than ten feet while another house has slipped so badly that a car parked in the garage is now trapped under a mass of falling concrete.
When the T&T Guardian visited the families at Indarsingh Drive, Diamond Village, residents begged Minister of Public Utilities Robert Le Hente to intervene immediately.
The residents said even though they made reports to the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) no investigator has yet been assigned to assess the damage in the community.
One resident, Evelyn Saunders, said it was a tragedy to see everything they own slowly being destroyed.
“I living here for over 50 years. My house used to be level but the WASA main leaking from higher up on Papourie Road caused everything to slip down. My house slipping toward the road. We fed up make complaints. Nobody hearing us,” she said.
The tiles in Saunder’s home were cracked and an extension she started to build for her two grandchildren also started to sink.
“We decided that it did not make any sense building the extension because everything started to sink,” Saunders said, holding up a chunk of concrete from her living room wall. She took the Guardian team into her bedroom where gaping cracks tore apart the wall.
“Look at this. This is where I sleep. Every night I live in fear that this wall will fall on top of me. The bathroom has cracked up. The cesspit mash up. The floor uneven. This is what I face every day,” she said. Saunders explained that five houses were in immediate danger of collapse.
Her neighbour Joanne Sylvester said the entire downstairs apartment of her home had to be condemned because of the shifting land. Pointing to the apartment, Sylvester said, “Everything from downstairs had to be moved to upstairs. The cesspit and washroom are gone. The land is lifting up under the house causing the walls to crack up and the windows to shatter.”
Like Saunders, Sylvester said her family had nowhere to go.
“We have to live right here. We pray every day that the house will not fall down,” Sylvester said.
Another neighbour Phyllis Cooper said the garage of her home has also started to sink. She also called on WASA and the government to relocate all five families.
Contacted for comment Le Hunte said he was not aware of the resident’s complaints or their requests. However, he said he planned to speak to the chairman of WASA and launch an investigation into the residents’ complaints.
Reporter: Radhica De Silva