T&T PM to seek Cabinet approval for TT$25m in flood relief funds

Sunday, October 21, 2018

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says he will approach Cabinet for funds to help with flood relief.

Rowley was speaking during a joint media conference on Saturday.

“I would speak ahead of the Cabinet here and indicate that I would ask Cabinet to approve and authorise TT$25 million initially to assist persons who may require assistance from the treasury. We will ensure that this money is well spent and is spent as quickly as possible on those persons who have been affected,” he said.

Heavy rainfall over the last few days have resulted in widespread flooding across Trinidad and Tobago.

“This is a national disaster, the flooding is quite widespread and quite severe and it is going to cost a lot of money to bring relief to people who have been affected. Notwithstanding whatever shortages we are experiencing we will have to find the resources to help,” Rowley said after touring some of the affected areas.

According to the prime minister, the Defence Force, especially the Coast Guard and Fire Service have been using small boats going streets to reach residents stranded in their homes.
Meanwhile, there are no reports of fatalities as a result of the floods in sections of the twin island republic.

During a press conference on Saturday, National Security Minister Stuart Young made the statement in reference to information being circulated on social media.

He told reporters that fake information being circulated online has caused first responders to divert attention from affected areas.
Young has also mobilised the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) to conduct an aerial reconnaissance.

The ODPM says the adverse weather situation will continue until Sunday and urged motorists to seek alternative routes where possible and be extremely vigilant of rising flood waters.

“The ODPM appeals to all persons to take the necessary precautions to preserve life and property,” it said, adding that people should also desist from driving or walking through flood waters.

“Vehicles do not provide adequate protection from flood waters. Vehicles can be swept away or may stall in flood waters,” the agency said.

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