Five landslips in Cedros

Five landslips have developed about four miles from Bamboo village in Cedros where a massive landslip swallowed up four houses a year ago, creating a ghost town.

The splintered village stands on the edge of the 200 feet precipice which erodes daily even as geotechnical teams from the University of the West Indies continue evaluating the cliff collapse.

The newest landslips formed more than a year ago and it is uncertain whether they have any bearing to the Bamboo landslip.
Following heavy rains Monday, one of the landslips near the Chatham Mosque has further eroded threatening to cut off access along the Southern Main Road.

Councillor Shankar Teelucksingh said more than half of the road has already slipped. The Ministry of Works has blocked off access to one side of the road allowing only one-way traffic.

"The land is being undermined from the bottom. Three-quarters of the road is cracked and half of the road has slipped into a serious precipice off a hillside about 100 feet high. Vehicles are still passing but if this is not addressed soon the entire peninsula will be cut off," Teelucksingh said.

He said Cedros residents were bracing for further damage.

"The Met Office has predicted bad weather for this year and we are certain that if work is not done on these slippages soon, the entire peninsula will be cut off," Teelucksingh said.

He explained that another depression has formed near the Chatham Health Centre while a third has formed further up the Chatham road. At Coromandel Village, Cedros there is another landslip but unlike the others, this one has received some attention.

"The Ministry of Works placed asphalt mix to stop erosion at the depression but if the rains continue, this too will give way" Teelucksingh added.

The fifth landslip, he said, is at Cap-de-Ville Junction near a crossing.

Asked whether the five landslips had any relation to the major landslip at Bamboo, Teelucksingh said probably not. He explained that the Bamboo landslip was near the coast but the five depressions were more inland.

"Urgent attention is required for the ones in Chatham Mosque," Teelucksingh said.  

Meanwhile, director of the Coastal Protection Unit Candice Gray-Bernard said she was uncertain whether the landslips were linked. She said the UWI has been doing geotechnical analysis at the Bamboo landslip since May this year.

The report is expected to be completed in August and will include recommendations for cliff rehabilitation.

Preliminary studies done by CPU indicate that the cliff collapse occurred because of man-made issues including poor drainage.

Gray-Bernard said the CPU has continued to monitor the erosion and has done several studies since the incident occurred on February 26. Four displaced families who lost their homes following the landslip have received temporary housing at Lake View Development in Point Fortin.

Contacted for comment, Works Minister Rohan Sinanan said teams from his department will do an assessment of the landslips and submit a report. Once this is done, Sinanan said he will be able to issue a more detailed comment.


February 26- Landslip swallows four homes, displacing 20 people. A massive gully is formed.
March 2- Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley asks residents to evacuate the area. He promises temporary housing for families.
March 7- Displaced residents get keys to new homes for Lake View Development in Point Fortin. They were promised land to rebuild.
November 20- Damages are reported in six acres of land at Bamboo Inner Road, leading to the gully
January 21- A sign is painted at the site commemorating the day of the tragedy which made the village a ghost town.

- by Radhica De Silva

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