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Rising Sea Level and High Tide Continue to Ravage Villages Along the West Coast of Demerara

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Staff Reporter, Jenny Alphonso, reporting from the West Coast of Demerara, Guyana, South America.

Article first published: 30th October, 2019.

Last updated: November 1, 2019 at 10:31 am

Residents of the West Coast of Demerara, Guyana, South America, are still devastated with regards to the current situation of the seawall overflowing due to the ongoing high tide. For the past three days, homeowners were struggling to cope with the floods around the area. Homes, especially closer to the seawall, were submerged with water as the flood came rapidly every afternoon when the tide rose.

Some communities that were affected include Hague, Den Amstel, Cornelia Ida, Anna Catherina, Blankenburg and Uitvlugt.

While others managed to block their doorways with multiple sand bags and blocks, some houses were partially submerged with water. In addition, many household appliances were destroyed. Although persons tried their best to save them by unplugging main outlets etc, those homes closer to the seawall that were completely immersed still suffered a loss of most items.

Apart from the household items being destroyed, some locals were more worried about their children not being able to go to school due to the flood. For some, the waters caused destruction to school clothing and other apparatus delaying children from school. In other cases, homeowners and families sought shelter with family members and/or close associates which also affects the children’s school routine in cases where those associates are not residents of the West Coast of Demerara.

Moreover, some persons were affected from their jobs as their daily lifestyles had to become different for the few days. One resident made a statement about the irrigation system not being able to operate and function adequately as the flood could have been, if not avoided, monitored so that they (the residents) would not suffer such losses to their livestock.

Although homes are drenched, the West Demerara Regional Hospital, Leonora Hospital and other regional and district hospitals are still in operation for any injuries or sickness that may arise.

Safety measures are asked to be put in place to avoid the spread of any water borne disease. Extra care should be taken when preparing meals by washing all fruits and vegetables and utensils used. Besides preparing meals, hands and feet must be washed thoroughly when out of the flood waters as it is contaminated and can cause illness to the body. Also, barrels of contaminated water should be emptied to avoid breeding of mosquitoes which carry viruses such as dengue. The residents of the West Coast are being cautioned to take these measures as prevention is better than cure.

Because of a flood earlier this year, some persons had taken precaution early to avoid damage that cost millions in terms of endangerment to crops and livestock or even obtaining water borne diseases.

Updated: Chain of Events:

  • Overtopping of seawalls started from Monday, 28th of October, 2019.
  • Last overtopping occurred on Wednesday, 30th of October, 2019.
  • On Thursday, 31st, the sea level seemed to have lowered as there was no further overtopping.
  • On Friday, 1st of November, 2019, much of the waters have started to recede as residents begin their cleanup campaigns.
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