Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein is asking people to stay away from Maracas and other beaches along the North Coast Road today as workers continue to clear thousands of loads of rubble deposited by landslides.
Hosein, in a telephone interview, said the Works Ministry is concentrating on clearing the road to make it accessible to villagers.
“You could use other beaches,” he said.
Hosein said Works Ministry personnel have been working since Sunday around the clock and have removed more than 3,000 loads of rubble, with close to 1,000 still to be removed, but as fast as the workers clear the mountain, it keeps coming down. Hosein explained that the ground is limestone but it is “rotten rocks,” and the Works Ministry has engaged a geologist to give expert advice on the technical aspect. The geologist was scheduled to arrive late last evening or early this morning.
Hosein expressed thanks to the permanent secretary, ministry engineers and the workers who have been working since Sunday, and have not gone home to their families, to ensure the road is passable.
The Works Ministry’s Twitter account reported yesterday morning the slope along the North Coast Road near the Maracas lookout had again come down and people should avoid the area until further notice. In further tweets the ministry reported it was keeping one lane open, so drivers should expect delays and it strongly recommended only residents try to reach the area.
“The ministry continues to observe many vehicles trying to gain access along the road, which places their safety at risk and in some cases, hinders the works of ministry officials,” the ministry posted.
According to one report, some commuters cursed the workers, but Hosein said that did not happen during his visit yesterday.
Yesterday the Works Ministry also reported a landslide along the Blanchisseuse Road at the 21 to 22 mile mark at Spring Bridge, and also on the Manzanilla/Mayaro Road and drivers were asked to be extremely careful.
Yesterday the Met Office discontinued a riverine flood alert, saying while some areas were still inundated, no significant rainfall was expected over the next few days. It also issued a release discontinuing a rough seas bulletin.