Heavy rains trigger flooding, landslides in Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Drivers take a chance through the flood at Whim Village, Tobago. File photo/David Reid

POUNDING rain triggered flash flooding and landslides in several parts of Tobago on Thursday.

It came a day after the Meteorological Office issued an advisory saying it had raised its riverine alert to orange and adverse weather alert to yellow. The advisory was subsequently downgraded to yellow and green level respectively.

The Met Office said periods of heavy rainfall are expected over the next few days.

In light of the advisory, the THA Division of Education, Research and Technology dismissed schools on the island at 1 pm.

It advised parents to make arrangements to have their children collected. The division said students who use maxi taxi services were to be picked up at their respective schools.

Unless otherwise advised, the division said classes are expected to resume on Friday.

It urged families affected by the bad weather to contact the 211 call centre or the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) at 660-7489.

As of 5 pm on Thursday, TEMA director Allan Stewart told Newsday the agency received 21 reports – the majority of which were flooding and landslides.

Stewart said there was some “critical flooding” in the south-western part of the island including Canoe Bay, Crown Point, Canaan, Bon Accord and at Turtle Beach, Black Rock, near the Starfish Hotel. There were also some reports in some villages in east Tobago.

He said landslides were reported in Bloody Bay and Bad Rock, Belle Garden.

A video posted on Facebook highlighted a major landslide along the Bloody Bay Road.

A man could be heard saying a large tree fell onto the road and blocked it. He said the area surrounding the landslide also appeared to be waterlogged.

“A piece of Tobago cut off,” the man said.

He wondered how residents would get to Roxborough Hospital in an emergency.

“They will have to hope that God keep them safe to meet town (Scarborough).”

Stewart said TEMA was bracing for more landslides.