5 Houses in danger of collapse at Diamond Village

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

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