The family home at house at Ragoonanan Trace West, St John’s Road, Chase Village, in the aftermath of the funnel cloud’s destruction (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)
SHASTRI BOODAN

Members of a family of six escaped with their lives on Tuesday, when a funnel cloud landed directly on their house in Central Trinidad. 

The cloud mangled and ripped off the metal roof from the building. The heavy afternoon showers had no mercy, metaphorically pouring salt into the family’s wounds as the rain destroyed all their belongings.

39-year-old Khadine Crowe cried in the arms of her sister Crystal Ramroop, when she got the bad news and rushed to her house at Ragoonanan Trace West, St John’s Road, Chase Village.

Khadine Crowe (centre, blue teeshirt) is consoled by her sister Crystal Ramroop (yellow teeshirt). (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

Crowe told Guardian Media she was at work at a nearby tile place when the freak accident occurred. She said she began fearing the worst knowing her children were at home, after learning that a “tornado” had battered her home.

“I thank God that all lives were spared,” Ramroop said.

Ramroop said Abid Ali (Crowe’s husband), along with three children—including her young niece who had come over to use the internet for online classes—were at the house when disaster struck. The children cried uncontrollably in fear. 

Steel rafters mangled by the funnel cloud. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

Ramroop, who works at the office of the Couva North MP, said she contacted all the relevant authorities to render assistance to Crowe and her family. She said she was assured that her sister would be taken care of.

Ali, who was busy sweeping water out of the four-bedroom house, said he was shocked to see the roof being torn off.

Abid Ali sweeps water from his roofless bedroom. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

Relatives struggled to salvage clothing and what little groceries had survived the rains.

Shanawaz Shah, who lives next door to Khadine Crowe, said her home sustained damage when roofing materials from Crowe’s house collided with it, when the funnel cloud landed.

Khadine Crowe (far left) and relatives cry in the rain after the freak accident that damaged their home. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

Several other buildings in the community were struck, including the roof of a nearby cow pen that was partially torn off. Some buildings had loose roofing sheets.

Villager Jonathan Singh said he was inside and heard objects falling on his roof. Singh said when he looked outside, he saw galvanize and steel roofing sheets flying in the air along with tree branches. He said after the cloud had passed, villagers collected the loose galvanize sheets and heaped them in a pile.