Charlotteville ravaged by flooding

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A house partially collapses in Top River, Charlotteville, Tobago, after heavy rains caused landslides in the area on December 19 – Tobago Emergency Management Agency

Over 50 mm of rainfall in Tobago caused widespread flooding and landslides in Charlotteville on Tuesday. The Tobago Emergency Operations Centre (TEOC) said it recorded approximately five incidents and anticipated further reports due to saturated land from continuous rainfall.

In a release, the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) said TEOC received reports of heavy rainfall, flooding, and landslides in Charlotteville, despite no adverse weather alert from the TT Meteorological Service.

The Charlotteville Main Road was blocked near the Turpin bend, which rendered it inaccessible until it was cleared.

TEMA said the entire village of Charlotteville was flooded out with several houses being damaged. It said residents in Top River were dealing with the significant impact of the landslide, and at least one house had partially collapsed.

Video on TEMA’s Facebook page taken at 3:20 pm showed flooding in the road which was knee-high, which also flowed into people’s houses.

Residents were heard exclaiming, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” Others wondered if Trinidad was also experiencing bad weather.

Chief Secretary Farley Augustine toured the affected area to assess the damage, along with the TEMA director, Division of Infrastructure, Quarries, and Urban Development (DIQUD) workers, and villagers.

TEMA noted that cleaning agents and essential items have been packed to be distributed to affected individuals.

It said response agencies, including the community emergency report team (CERT) and the, have initiated various actions, such as report reconnaissance, tree-cutting, landslide clearance, and preliminary damage assessments (PDAs).

The relevant authorities are coordinating recovery efforts, with TSTT conducting a preliminary damage assessment to address fallen utility lines.

TEOC said ongoing efforts are focused on ensuring the safety and well-being of the affected community.