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(CMC) – President Paula Mae Weekes Monday called for the country to unite as residents deal with the floods caused by heavy rains battering the island since last Thursday.
While there have been no deaths or injuries, the foods have caused widespread damage to infrastructure, homes and the agricultural sector.
In a statement, President Weekes said together with the citizenry, she looked on with “mounting horror and grave concern at the immediate and after effects” of the rains.
“Whether caused by Act of God, omissions or commissions of institutions or individuals or any combination thereof, this is not the time to ascribe blame. It is the time for us all to come together as a nation to render whatever assistance we can to those in such desperate need.
“Many of our individual and corporate citizens have led the way in extraordinary demonstrations of bravery, compassion and generosity. We thank and commend them and let us all follow suit to whatever extent we are able,” she added.
She said the country is grateful for the efforts of the protective services, the regional corporations, disaster management organisations, NGOs and all who selflessly gave service.
“Just when many were despairing of the national ethos, we have seen cause for hope. Trinidad is a real place,” she said, adding “to those who have suffered trauma and loss, some of whom are staff of the Office of the President, we extend our heartfelt sympathy.
“As dire as things are, know that we are all hoping, working and praying to bring whatever relief we can in the shortest possible time.
“When the immediate concerns have been treated with, let us as individuals and organisations re-examine our practices and processes and put in place both preventive and remedial steps to ensure that all humanly possible is done to avoid a repeat of the catastrophic events and the chaos recently experienced,” she added.
The Meteorological Service has warned residents to be prepared for the passage of a tropical storm over the next 48 hours, a situation that is likely to increase fears of more floods particularly in the south, east and central parts of the country, still reeling from the effects of the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITC) that dumped more rain on the island in three days than a whole month.
Meanwhile, the newly appointed United States Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Joseph N. Mondello, said Washington is standing in solidarity with Port of Spain in the aftermath of the unprecedented rainfall and resulting floods which affected several areas of the country.
A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Mondello expressed the sentiments during talks with Foreign Affairs Minister Dennis Moses.
“During the meeting, Ambassador Mondello offered his sympathy in the wake of the recent adverse weather which impacted Trinidad and Tobago and expressed his willingness to provide support to the relief efforts in any way that could be facilitated,” the statement noted.