A damaged home at Sesame Street in Las Lomas. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)
SHASTRI BOODAN

Over 100 roofs were damaged in Central Trinidad following the passing of a tropical wave on Thursday night. 

Henry Awong, the Chairman of the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation, told Guardian Media the CTTRC had received 66 reports of damaged roofs, 14 reports of trees falling on houses, and eight reports of trees falling on roadways. 

Awong said the hardest hit area in the constituency was Las Lomas, with more than 20 reports of roofs being damaged. He called on residents to ensure their rooves either are equipped with hurricane straps or bolted down properly.

The CTTRC chairman said they will be working with the relevant authorities to bring relief to affected persons and assist where necessary with tarpaulins, mattresses, and food support.

Awong also appealed to the National Commission for Self Help Limited to move quickly with grants and to institute a pro-active programme for persons with compromised roofs to get them repaired.

“A proactive approach would save the country millions of dollars in the long run,” he said.  “We will be working around the clock to bring relief to those who suffered with the high winds.” 

Meanwhile, Chaguanas Mayor Faaiq Mohammed told Guardian Media he has had 41 reports of damaged roofs, along with 14 reports of falling tree—including trees that fell on houses and the highway. 

Mayor Mohammed said the CBC and its Disaster Management Unit (DMU) was working with the Fire Service and other authorities to remove fallen trees and assist persons with tarpaulins, mattresses and food support.

“This morning, I visited the home of Beena Dolliesingh of Endeavour who is in her 70s. She narrowly escaped death when a tree fell on the roof over her bedroom. The CBC assisted in removing the tree and covering the roof with a tarpaulin,” he reported.  

The Chaguanas Mayor is encouraging those in need of help to call the Chaguanas DMU at 800-3222.

In Felicity, popular bar owner Shanti “Shanti Duck” Kalpath, 60, of Maha Sabha Street, had a damaged roof.  Kalpath said she heard a banging and wooshing sound around midnight and parts of her roof went with the high winds and fell on top of a pick-up truck owned by her neighbour, Natalie Pakheera.

Pakheera said the galvanized sheets also fell on her pet dog and severed her internet and electricity connections. She said as a result, she also has no water since an electrical pump was used to circulate water in the house.

At Cunupia, residents braved the rains and repaired their own roof.

At Sesame Street in Las Lomas, Affiya Nicholas and her family of five also had a damaged roof. She said no assistance had been received from the CTTRC up to midday, and the family had to fund their own repairs. 

Nicholas said they were caught by surprise when they heard loud crashing sounds around midnight. The heavy afternoon showers made repairs difficult for residents.