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5 schools closed to shelter evacuated residents

first_img… as Region 9 floods worsenAs water levels continue to rise rapidly throughout Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) docking several communities, five schools were closed and have since been turned into shelters as residents in affected communities are being evacuated.This was revealed by Minister of State Joseph Harmon on Thursday as he updated the media of the situation on the ground and Government’s response to the flooding in the region.“Twenty-five residents had been evacuated from their homes and housed in temporary shelters at Culvert City Nursery School, Tabatinga Community Centre and the Amerindian hostel; while additional affected residents were evacuated toThis road is completely covered as threatening water levels in Region 9 recordedrelatives’ homes on higher grounds,” he stated.Minister Harmon went on to note too that the Regional Emergency Operation Centre was activated on Thursday and has recommended the closure of five schools so that they can be utilised as shelters, including St Ignatius Primary. Access to this school is inundated and challenging to traverse.Among the other schools that have been given approval by the Education Ministry to be suspended are St Ignatius Secondary; Culvert City Nursery; Arapaima Primary and Secondary.The regional administration has indicated that it has the capacity to deal with the flooding as is, however, if the situation worsens, then external assistance would be required.Nevertheless, Harmon said the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) is in contact with the region and has identified and quantified the needs requirements in these communities based on preliminary assessments.“You’re looking at aviation fuel to support emergency evacuation should that become necessary in remove areas; water purification tablets; water storage containers, and food and bedding for the residents who are in shelters. I have been advised by the Civil Defence Commission that these items are available and can be deposited there on short notice,” the State Minister asserted.Moreover, he related that acting President, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, has since ordered that Ministers be dispatched to the region to assess the situation. To this end, Junior Public Infrastructure Minister Annette Ferguson has already left for Region Nine and is looking into “infrastructure matters”. Additionally, Minister Harmon, who has responsibility for the CDC, will also be travelling to the region today to also assess the situation.The Minister of State however could not give the extent of the floods, that a more updated assessment would be obtained and given today. But he did note that the floods are at the worst in the Lethem and Tabatinga surroundings.Threating water levelsHowever, Regional Vice Chairman Carl Singh told Guyana Times on Wednesday that communities in the South Pakaraimas and Deep South, and the Rupununi are still inundated.He revealed that at about 05:00h on Wednesday, the Moco-Moco and Takutu Rivers rose some six feet, while the Rupununi River also remains at a “very high” level. Up to late that evening, the water had not receded.“St Ignatius Secondary school was cut off, you have to use boats to get over the bridge; the entire Deep South is cut off; at Nasha Bridge, the water very high there. Nothing can be done in there,” Singh observed.Coupled with the flooding is reportedly a shortage of fuel in Region Nine which is blamed on the bad condition of Linden-Lethem trail. Only last week, a truck transporting fuel toppled while crossing a bridge.A temporary by-pass was carved out but according the Vice Chairman, the truck remains stuck on the bridge as drums of fuel are being shuttled to Lethem. (Vahnu Manikchand)last_img read more