Home owners in landslide prone areas urged to be on lookout
November 29, 2013
Home owners in landslide prone areas urged to be on lookout

Extensive rainfall has once again wreaked havoc on mainland St Vincent, causing a number of land slides in the Windward and Mesopotamia areas earlier this week.{{more}}

Howie Prince, head of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), told SEARCHLIGHT that, between Monday night and Tuesday morning, landslides were recorded in La Croix, Welcome, South Rivers, Park Hill, Maroon Hill and Fenton, with the most significant being in La Croix, which was treated with more urgency.

“Because there are so many other inconveniences on the Mespo route, it would have really been a headache, because heading out of Mespo you would have had to go through Yambou or over the hill heading towards Gomea.

“So, we had a lot of inspection and surveys done on it and we started about five o’clock the following morning, with the Forestry Division cutting away the trees, so that by 9 (a.m.) we had it partially cleared and by 10:30 (a.m.) the road was completely cleared.

Prince indicated that apart from the Forestry Division in the Ministry of Agriculture, assistance was also offered by the Roads, Buildings and General Services Authority (BRAGSA), the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, and the Ministry of Transport and Works.

“It was a team approach to a major emergency situation to alleviate further suffering on the part of the people in the Marriaqua, Lowmans and Greiggs area,” Prince noted.

He cautioned homeowners who reside in landslide prone areas to be on the lookout for the signs of land slippage in their areas, which, in most cases, would be extreme and consistent rainfall.

“Heavy and extensive rainfall is always going to result in land slippage and landslides, once it has been raining for a while, the earth is saturated and there is always that possibility.

“There is going to be an ongoing programme that has to deal with slope stabilization in those areas to avoid further catastrophe, for example, houses coming down into the road.”

On September 2 this year, heavy overnight rainfall caused a landslide in the Belmont area, cutting off access to Marriaqua, and forcing commuters to use bypass roads.

The Meteorological Office, stationed at the E.T. Joshua Airport, reported that there was 45.5 millimetres (1.8 inches) of rainfall in the 24 hour period between 8 a.m. Monday and 8 a.m. Tuesday.