Georgetown, Guyana – (June 1, 2017) The Civil Defence Commission (CDC), which has responsibilities for disaster management and risk reduction, is urging all citizens to be on alert even as Minister of Public Infrastructure, Mr. David Patterson has given the assurance that all systems have been activated to mitigate any possible flooding as the country prepares for forecasted heavy and continuous rainfall over the next six to 36 hours. Given the fact that the next low tide is expected to be at 04:30hrs followed by another period of low tide until 17:00hrs tomorrow, Minister Patterson said that the risk of flooding will increase if there is intense rainfall during that period.
According to the Hydro-meteorological Service’s National Weather Watch Centre, accumulated rainfall is expected between 40mm and 80mm over Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region Seven), Potaro-Siparuni (Region Eight) and Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine) and in excess of 120 mm over Barima-Waini (Region One), Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three), Demerara-Mahaica (Region Four), Mahaica-Berbice (Region Six) and Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region Ten). This translates to approximately six inches of rainfall on the coastland. Additionally, periodic high intensity rainfall is anticipated in Regions Two, Three, Four and Five.
Minister Patterson, in an invited comment, said that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, the Ministry of Communities and the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) have been communicating and working together to ensure that all pumps are activated and all systems are in place to mitigate the effects of the heavy and continuous rainfall.
“We have been in contact so that the critical players can be aware of what is happening. We have contacted the City Engineers and we have made an inspection at each and every pump. We have contacted GPL [Guyana Power and Light] to let them know that particularly Liliendaal has to remain powered. We have opened the Cofferdam in Kitty and we have contacted all sluice attendants to tell them to be alert so that they can close the sluices on time and open them on time and as soon as the first rain starts, we will start using our mechanical pumps right away,” Minister Patterson said.
Additionally as the flood watch continues, the CDC reminds citizens to take the precautionary measures.
Before flooding occurs, the CDC advises that you:
1. Know the route to the nearest safe shelter
2. Keep the First Aid Kit ready with extra medication for snakebite and diarrhoea
3. Have a radio, torch and spare batteries nearby
4. Have stocks of fresh water, dry food, candles, matchbox, kerosene, etc.
5. Identify higher ground where people and animals can take shelter