Saint Lucia stands ready to assist Trinidad and Tobago which has been hit by widespread weekend flooding, the Director of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), Velda Joseph has disclosed.
Joseph said NEMO is aware of the torrential rains that affected the twin Island republic from Friday, causing severe flooding in mainly the Eastern and Central parts of Trinidad.
She disclosed that she has been in discussion with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).
“The situation has been described as a level one, which means that Trinidad is able to handle the situation on its own,” the NEMO Director told St Lucia Times.
However Joseph explained that this country is ready, willing and able to assist if required, although Trinidad has not asked for external help at this time.
“Notwithstanding, with CDEMA’s arrangement we have looked at persons for pre-deployment. So we have identified persons who have been trained in what we refer to as cost – so these persons can provide operational assistance in the national emergency operation centre. We have identified persons who are trained in damage assessment to provide assistance to Trinidad should the request come to Saint Lucia,” she told St Lucia Times.
Joseph explained that the standard protocol is for the affected country to request assistance and indicate the type of help it wants.
“You would appreciate that is important because you do not want to provide assistance that is not really required by the state,” she stated.
Joseph noted that Saint Lucia was also battered by weekend rain.
She said NEMO received many reports of swollen rivers and minor landslides in places including Desrameaux and Pavee.
However Joseph revealed that there were no reports of significant damage to individuals, households or homes as a result of the torrential rains.
She urged Saint Lucians to remain vigilant.