GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Monday January 30, 2012 – Work crews have been dispatched to the coastal Mahaica-Berbice area in the wake of flooding in several communities, newly-appointed Chairman of Region Five Bindrabhan Bisnauth has said.
The crew would be clearing blocked drains affected by garbage pile-up, he stated.
Up to seven inches of rainfall recorded over 24 hours left several communities in the region inundated, prompting President Donald Ramotar to conduct an impromptu visit for a first-hand assessment.
The president told reporters that challenges were likely due to the forecast for continuous rainfall.
The Hydrometeorological Service confirmed Sunday morning that it had received reports from a number of its rainfall stations across the country indicating that many along the coast and near inland locations exceeded 100mm during the period.
The highest recorded rainfall of 172.6 mm was reported at New Amsterdam in Region Six (East Berbice Corentyne).
Minister of Health Dr. Bheri Ramsarran said officials are on standby to prevent an outbreak of water-related illnesses.
“The incubation period is now and probably in a few days from now, our vigilance will pay off so we’re being vigilant as much as possible,” he said.
In an effort to avoid a health crisis, the minister explained that the city would be fogged and garbage collected in residential and commercial areas.
“If you have flooding on the background of garbage pile-up and mosquitoes and blocked drains, you can get a disaster so the ministry now has launched a campaign which is called ‘Saving The City,” he said.
Earlier this month, City Mayor Hamilton Green warned that the city was facing a garbage crisis with GY$48 million (US$235,640) owed to garbage collectors.
Weather forecasters said the ocean-atmosphere phenomenon called La Nina would persist until the end of the first quarter of 2012.
Downpours may occur from time to time during February and March 2012 as this mild La Nina continues to influence weather patterns, it added, while warning residents in low-lying and flood-prone areas to take the necessary precautions against further flooding.