SIX contractors were dispatched yesterday to begin repairs to Housing Development Corporation (HDC) houses in Rio Claro damaged by Tuesday’s earthquake.
One resident of the Mora Heights development, Ansa Khan, told Newsday he was happy with the response, as he did not expect the HDC to move so quickly.
Khan’s home was the worst hit in the area, as the back staircase collapsed during the earthquake, leaving only pieces of the railing hanging off the wall.
The front staircase and the pillars supporting the house were also damaged.
The back staircases of five other houses were also badly damaged.
A total of 20 homes were affected by the earthquake.
“I think it’s an incredible response by the contractors. I was not expecting them to be out so quickly, but they told me it was classified as an emergency and they were starting work today (Thursday),” Khan said.
Corporate communications manager at the Ministry of Housing Dike Noel told Newsday three contractors were on site before noon.
“As at 11.45 am, three contractors are on site. Three more are expected shortly. They will mobilise by the end of the day and begin work, with specific focus on units with the most significant structural damage,” Noel wrote via Whatsapp.
He said the work would consist of repairs to staircases and external walls.
Asked if the houses had been deemed safe to occupy, Noel responded, “No unit was deemed unfit for occupation. The engineers who were on site yesterday have advised that most of the damage was concentrated on the staircases.
“Most units have two external staircases, therefore residents were advised to use the staircase with the least damage while work continues on the one with more damage.”
Asked about cases where both staircases were damaged, Noel said HDC engineers had said there was no case where both staircases were so badly damaged that one could not be used.