TEMA head: Numerous landslides in Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

TEMA director Allan Stewart –

The Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) is appealing to drivers and other road users to be careful on the roads.

The agency’s director Allan Stewart made the appeal while providing an update to Newsday on Friday after heavy showers overnight on Thursday into Friday.

He said on the Northside Road there were major landslides that would have caused some disturbance to traffic.

“(In) the Big River area – leaving Mason Hall to go to Craighall area – there is a major landslide that is still threatening. Part of it came down, and there are still trees hanging within the landslide itself.”

He said a situation on the Providence Road was exacerbated by a landslide that blocked the waterway.

“It created a huge area of flooding in a particular area, making it difficult for vehicles on the Providence Road – those that are proceeding towards Les Coteaux and these other villages.”

He said emergency crews were on the scene and were using pumps “to take down some of the water so that they can get to the blockage where the debris is lodged within the pipe, to do some clearing.”

Across at the Bloody Bay link road into Roxborough, he said, a major challenge remained.

“That is a major blockage as well – there is a challenge in itself, that there is a unusual landslide. It is one that is moving, it’s a slow creeping and allows the land to slide gradually across the roadway so it is blocked. If you move it, it comes back, it repeats itself.

“We have to wait on some sunlight to attempt to move it sufficiently so that it can allow for an ease or a thoroughfare of traffic once again.”

He said as a result people need to continue to be vigilant.

“Because of the level of saturation of the soil, we now are grossly in a period where there is high slope instability and as a result of that, even without rainfall, you would have landslides. You would have the possibilities of trees coming down, utility poles coming down and also even timber – houses built of timber could also collapse as well.”