Trinidad and Tobago are going through a horrific period, and apart from human intervention, the country needs prayers.
This is the view of many as residents have observed nothing positive over the last week.
From the disaster in Matelot and surrounding areas to 12 murders in three days, to six horrific road deaths in one incident, to several rattling earthquakes, the highest being 6.1.
What’s next, many have asked. Wednesday morning started off with heavy rains and when it rains heavily, downtown Port-of-Spain can flood.
Social media writers are busy giving all sorts of reasons for the bad period being experienced in Trinidad and Tobago.
With no real solution coming from the Minister of National Security on the increase in crime and murders, citizens are living in fear with Christmas approaching. Reports in the public domain show that bandits have increased their tempo on robberies, especially on unsuspecting persons leaving banks.
Tuesday afternoon’s 6.1 earthquakes sent citizens into panic mode. Social media was abuzz within minutes. Photos were published where foodstuff on the shelves at West Bees Supermarket in Diego Martin fell to the ground. The supermarket promptly closed its doors.
There was structural damage to Radisson Hotel, Port-of-Spain. There were reports of homes and buildings being damaged in Tobago. The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) will be in the field on Wednesday surveying the damage.
There were no reports of injuries, but there could have been based on how people responded to that 6.1 quake. There were two more earthquakes just after midnight and felt across the nation. The last earthquake of that magnitude occurred in 1997.
Matelot is still reeling from the heavy rains days ago. Life is slowing returning to the eastern section of the country. Roads are passable again, but residents fear there could be a repeat with more rains.
But the biggest shocker of the week was the horrific crash on the Churchill Roosevelt Highway near O’Meara, Arima, on Monday night.
This was an accident which could have been prevented. The sheer speed and ignoring a red light caused the deaths of six persons in one incident.
According to police reports, brothers Kwame and Kareem Romain, along with Che Peters and Travis Teague were heading east along the Churchill Roosevelt Highway when on reaching the O’Meara intersection, Teague’s Mitsubishi CK Lancer collided with an Isuzu pickup heading south along O’Meara Road.
All the passengers in Teague’s vehicle, except Kwame Romain, died on the scene, as did three occupants of the truck.
The other casualties were Ramesh Narine, Avenelle Thomas, and Timothy Fraser. The trio, all employed with Special Elite Investigations Services Limited, were on their way home after working a 10 am to 10 pm shift. Police reports are that Narine was the driver of the truck.
Police said the accident took place around 10.35 pm.
Apart from Kwame, Roxanne Johnson, and Rampaul Hanoo were taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Centre, Mt Hope, where they remained warded.
Speaking with the media at her home in Valencia on Tuesday, Debra Gibbons, the Romain brothers’ mother, said the two were exactly one year apart, even sharing the same November 12 birthday.
Gibbons wept as she recalled how the boys did everything together, from working as mechanics to roofing and everything in between. As she spoke, incumbent chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation Martin Terry Rondon visited and brought with him food items to help the family. Rondon also took time off to warn drivers about the excessive speed.
Rondon said: “Take it down, please. There is a lot of trucks that traverse these roads, it is the time that these drivers take it down, man. It’s from one tragedy to the next (referring to the devastation at Matelot earlier this week following heavy rains). But what I have noticed is that these things are bringing us closer together.”
Rondon’s call for drivers to slow down was echoed by Cedric Gibbons, the Romain brothers’ uncle, who identified Teague as a driver who likes speed and had been cautioned about it in the past.
“He used to drive hard. I want to tell the young people to take it down, is only
Not only did Teague speed, he broke the red light at the intersection and killed six persons, sending multiple families into mourning.
With Christmas season in high gear, police are now pleading with motorists to be careful and slow down. The majority of accidents are caused by persons, either speeding, intoxicated, or tired behind the wheels.
DAMAGE TO ITEMS AT WEST BEES
SEISMIC CHART OF THE EARTHQUAKE
DAMAGE TO RADISSON HOTEL, PORT-OF-SPAIN