Riverine flood alert along Trinidad’s major rivers

Although Trinidad and Tobago is currently under no tropical storm or hurricane threat, watch or warning, the country’s meteorological service (TTMS) is warning communities located along major river courses and associated tributaries to prepare to safeguard life and property amid heavy rain and significantly high river levels. 

Adverse weather alert – Orange level is in effect through October 21 as an active Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) continues to produce periods of rain/showers and thunderstorm activity which can lead to flash or riverine flooding as well as landslides/landslips in areas so prone, TTMS said, adding that gusty winds can be experienced in the vicinity of heavy downpours.

All river levels are high and are expected to rise further as more rainfall is forecast over the next several days, the agency said.

Riverine Flood Alert Orange Level is in effect for the period October 18 – 23, 2018 at 18:00 local time.

Persons residing, traversing or working in flood-prone areas, especially along the Caroni River Basin are urged to be extra vigilant and to take the necessary steps to preserve life and property, state meteorologists warned.

Be alert for rising river levels and possible over-spill, do not take unnecessary risks, and avoid intentionally walking or driving through flood waters.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) would like residents and visitors to ‘Get Ready and Stay Ready’ by implementing the following safety measures:

  1. Pre-position sandbags around your property, especially if your area or property has a history of flooding;

  2. After heavy rainfall, stay inside until water levels have subsided;

  3. Do not walk, play or drive through flood waters of unknown depth and current;

  4. Be cautious when walking /driving along hillsides or landslide-prone areas;

  5. If there are signs that flooding is about to occur near your property, move important items to a higher floor if possible;

  6. If impacted by the adverse weather, please contact your Municipal Corporation or the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) through its toll-free hotline numbers.

Featured image credit: NASA Terra/MODIS. Acquired: October 18, 2018

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