Road caves-in after heavy rains

Heavy rains have caused part of the Up­per San Fa­bi­en Road in Gas­par­il­lo to cave-in caus­ing an elec­tric­i­ty pole and a tree to col­lapse on top of a house.

The land­slip was so se­vere that on­ly one side of the road is now pass­able. Land be­hind the home of a res­i­dent known on­ly as Lall al­so slid down, caus­ing a tree to fall.

When Guardian Me­dia vis­it­ed the scene ear­li­er to­day, Lall was not at home hav­ing gone to seek help to save his house. The walls of the wood­en house had caved in and items in­side ap­peared to have been smashed by the force of the tree on the roof. An elec­tric­i­ty pole on the side of the erod­ed road was al­so in dan­ger of falling down.

Res­i­dent Pa­tri­cia Williams said if the road be­comes to­tal­ly im­pass­able more than 100 hous­es will be com­plete­ly cut off.

"This is the sec­ond time that the road has caved, leav­ing res­i­dents strand­ed. In 2011, the road high­er up the hill col­lapsed and about 15 fam­i­lies had to be re­lo­cat­ed. The road was nev­er fixed. This time the land­slip is even more se­vere. If that road caves then there will be about 200 to 300 peo­ple af­fect­ed with no ac­cess," Williams said.

Res­i­dent Wendy Mod­este said she too was wor­ried about school chil­dren who pass with a maxi-taxi every day to and from school.

"The maxi can bare­ly pass there. Many peo­ple have left their ve­hi­cles at home be­cause it is a risk," Mod­este said.

Res­i­dent Mar­sha Daniel said un­der her home was al­so erod­ing be­cause of the land­slip.

The res­i­dents said they have called MP Dr Su­ruj Ram­bachan for help but were told he could not as­sist. Ram­bachan said there were many land­slides in his con­stituen­cy and he spent all of Tues­day vis­it­ing af­fect­ed res­i­dents.

Con­tact­ed for com­ment, chair­man of the Cou­va/Tabaquite/Tal­paro Re­gion­al Cor­po­ra­tion Hen­ry Awong said the San Fa­bi­en Road falls un­der the ju­ris­dic­tion of the cor­po­ra­tion.

"We need to get en­gi­neers to go to the area and do an as­sess­ment. We will re­fer the re­port to the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment to get some as­sis­tance for Mr Lall," Awong said.

Re­gard­ing the land­slip, Awong said the cor­po­ra­tion was await­ing re­leas­es.

"We will look at it as a pri­or­i­ty project and the en­gi­neers will do an as­sess­ment. In the mean­time we will do what we can to pro­vide tem­po­rary re­lief for peo­ple to get in and out," Awong said.

He al­so said there were land­slips at Par­force Road, Sam­lals­ingh Road and at Caratal Road which were al­so af­fect­ed by land­slips.

- by Radhica De Silva. Photo by Rishi Ragoonath.

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