Media Release

Princes Town Regional Corporation opens Disaster Management sub office in Moruga

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March 17, 2018, Kent House, Maraval – The Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government is pleased to announce that the Princes Town Regional Corporation has opened a new Disaster Management sub office in Moruga. Present at the formal opening yesterday (March 16, 2018) were Minister of Rural Development and Local Government Haji Kazim Hosein, Minister in the Ministry of Education and Member of Parliament for Moruga/Tableland Dr. Lovell Francis, Chairman of the Princes Town Regional Corporation Gowrie Roopnarine, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Rural Development Ms. Desdra Bascombe, along with members of Council and representatives of the Ministry.

This sub office will allow for a more rapid disaster response in the area. The flooding experienced in the Moruga area last year revealed the need for more resources to be located within the community to allow efficient deployment of emergency supplies in the shortest time possible. Chairman Roopnarine said, “This sub office is equipped with the necessary materials to assist Moruga residents in an emergency rather than having to bring them from the corporation office in Princes Town.”

Minister Kazim Hosein applauded the efforts of the Princes Town Regional Corporation saying, “Disaster Management is an important function in each corporation, and part of local government reform is to increase the capability of our first responders. This sub office will definitely serve that purpose. And I commend the Chairman, Council and Administration for their efforts to serve the community in this way”

The Princes Town Disaster Management Unit can be reached at 655-8804 for more information or at the hotline number 800-PTRC (7872) in an emergency.


Media Release

DMUs on site as Volcanic Eruptions occur at Devil’s Woodyard, New Grant

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February 13th, 2018 Kent House, Maraval – At around 6:30pm last night, reports were received by the Princes Town Disaster Management Unit via their 24 Hour Toll-Free Hotline that volcanic activity was detected at Devil’s Woodyard, Hindustan Road, New Grant.

Senior Disaster Management Coordinator at the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government, Mr. Rishi Siew accompanied by personnel from the Princes Town DMU visited the site and confirmed these reports and further advised members of the public to be cautious when traversing the area.

Acting Minister of Rural Development and Local Government and Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries Senator the Honorable Clarence Rambharat urges citizens to be cautious saying, “I understand that people are anxious to view the volcanic eruptions however at this time, I strongly urge all residents and citizens to avoid going to the site and allow the emergency first responders and Seismic personnel to do their work in order to get this situation under control and prevent any incidents.”

At this time the Chairman of the Princes Town Regional Corporation, Councillor Gowrie Roopnarine, along with the Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service, the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), the Princes Town Disaster Management Unit and Senior Disaster Management Coordinator in the Ministry are on site, coordinating efforts in order to ensure safety and security for all residents and by extension citizens.

Citizens are kindly asked to be vigilant and proceed with caution when traversing the area.




Media Release

Landslide on the Lady Young Road


February 28, 2018 Kent House, Maraval – The Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government wishes to advise that there is a landslide on the Lady Young Road currently rendering it impassable. The landslide is located approximately ½-mile up from the Morvant Junction. The traveling public is asked to seek alternative routes and citizens are asked to avoid the area.

Reports were received of a vehicle being partially covered by rubble, however, the San Juan/Laventille Disaster Management Unit and Trinidad and Tobago Fire Services were deployed and are currently on scene. The driver has now been moved to safety. First response agencies including the San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation, Port of Spain City Corporation, Ministry of Works and Transport, Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, and Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service are currently working together to clear the debris, direct traffic, and bring order to the situation.



Media Release

Inter-agency Team monitors mud volcano eruptions, alert level at the lowest

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February 13, 2018 Kent House, Maraval – Following three confirmed eruptions of the mud volcano at Devil’s Woodyard, New Grant, Princes Town from as early as 4:20 a.m. today, the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government is confirming that the alert level for the site is currently level 1—the lowest on its disaster management scale— which means the volcano is in a state where it poses no immediate danger to human life and there is so far no indication, based on seismic and other tests, that a hazardous eruption is imminent.

“There has been some structural damage to the surrounding road but there’s a vast distance between the mud volcano and the nearest homes,” said Rishi Siew, the senior coordinator at the ministry’s disaster management unit. “A level 1 alert really means the regional corporation can handle the incident at this time since the volcanic activity does not disrupt or threaten the life or livelihood of any person or community.”

The ministry’s Level 1 rating is bolstered by the fact that air quality tests conducted by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) at the New Grant site have so far returned normal results with only minimal traces of nitrogen dioxide detected.

The EMA is part of an interagency team which includes officials of the Princes Town Regional Corporation, the Seismic Unit of the University of the West Indies (UWI), the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management, the Geological Society of Trinidad and Tobago (GSTT), and the ministry ’s disaster management unit who are working alongside police and fire officers on site to conduct air quality, seismic and other tests and put measures in place to ensure the safety of residents in the area.

Such measures include the temporary closure at approximately 10 o’clock this morning of the Hindustan Road in New Grant to vehicular and pedestrian traffic except to people who live in the area. The police also put residents of some 25 homes with proximity to the mud volcano on notice should a full-scale evacuation become necessary.

Further, in the event of an evacuation, the ministry and its partners at the regional corporation took a decision early today to activate and equip three shelters at the Hindustan Government Primary School, the Hindustan Presbyterian School and the Hindustan Community Centre, all of them well outside the “hot zone.”

Meanwhile, acting Minister of Rural Development and Local Government and Minister of Agriculture Clarence Rambharat cut short Carnival engagements to visit the New Grant site in person late Tuesday.

Minister Rambharat is urging both residents and members of the public not to visit the New Grant mud volcano until there’s official word that it is safe to do so.




Media Release

Minister Kazim Hosein assesses the flooding situation in the Mayaro/Rio Claro Region

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January 1st, 2018 Kent House, Maraval – Minister of Rural Development and Local Government Haji Kazim Hosein along with the MP for Mayaro, Mr. Rushton Paray, Permanent Secretary Ms. Desdra Bascombe, Senior Disaster Management Coordinator, Mr. Rishi Siew and members of the technical team from the Ministry are coordinating efforts with Chairman Glen Ram and Councillors of the Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation to bring relief to the residents who have been affected by the heavy rainfall.

Minister Haji Kazim Hosein encouraged citizens to be their brother’s keeper and commence the New Year with good actions saying, “As we start 2018, let us bring renewed hope to those who are less fortunate, to the elderly and to the homeless in our society. I encourage you to extend a helping hand to your neighbours or an elderly person in your community who may reside alone during this period of continuous rainfall; Service to Mankind is service to God and there is always a rewarding feeling when you help others in times of need so I urge you to do good and give back.”

Subsequent to the Ortoire River bursting its bank, the Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation’s Disaster Management Unit are out on the field conducting assessments in order to efficiently address the current flooding situation. Reports also indicate that the water levels has begun receding as rains have ceased at this time in the Mayaro region. MP for the area, Mr. Rushton Paray says, “Preparation is key to managing the issue of flooding; we must educate the population and change the culture of the way we treat issues such as these”.

Minister Hosein continued to encourage citizens to make use of the 24-hour Hotlines Numbers saying, “All 14 Municipal Corporations have a 24-hr Disaster Management Hotline number and as first responders they remain committed to assisting their burgesses during disasters such as flooding. In case of an emergency such as fallen trees, landslides, or flooding feel free to utilize these hotlines; they have been set up for you the public to have first-hand communication with the people on the ground.”

Citizens are kindly advised to be vigilant and proceed with caution when traversing areas with reports of flooding.