Govt to assist Reg 5 households affected by freak storm

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Public Service Minister Sonia Parag and Region five officials meeting with affected residents

Following reports of a freak storm destroying several houses as well as power poles and lines in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), the Guyana Government has indicated that assistance would be offered to those affected.

This is according to Public Service Minister Sonia Parag, who visited Region today.

A freak storm between Friday night and this morning ripped off the roof of several houses as well as damaged sheds and utility poles in the West Coast Berbice (WCB) village of Bath Settlement.

The storm brought heavy rain. After ripping out zinc sheets from the roofs belongings in the houses were soaked and, in some cases, electrical appliances were damaged.

Residents repairing their roof that was damaged by last night’s freak storm

Minister Parag along with Region Five Chairman Vickchand Ramphal and Vice-Chairman Rion Peters met with affected residents today.

She said that most persons are quite shocked over the extent of the damages especially since a similar freak storm was experienced last year but did not cause as much destruction as it did this time.

Nevertheless, the Public Service Minister reassured that the relevant authorities including the Office of the Prime Minister, which has responsibility for natural disasters response, have been alerted and will be looking into the issue.

Teams from the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and the Human Services Ministry were deployed to the area to make assessments in terms of the level of assistance that would be needed by the affected households.

“Those who might be displaced will be assisted by the Ministry of Human Services in terms of finding shelter. In the meanwhile, the Region is also providing zinc sheets to those who need it,” Parag told reporters this afternoon.

Minister Parag inspecting one of the structures that collapsed during the freak storm

Friday night’s freak storm hit at about 22:30h causing damages to two houses in Experiment and 17 others in Plantation Hope, Bath.

A few families were displaced during last night’s storm, which brought heavy rain, forcing those with damaged roofs to seek refuge at their neighbours as rain soaked their belongings.

At least one house – a small one-story wooden structure had minor damages after the post collapsed.

Moreover, utility workers and firefighters were also called to the community after an electrical pole had fallen over on resident’s fences and the power lines were sparking.

In another instance, a zinc sheet was caught between the wires on one pole.