Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has expressed Dominica’s solidarity with the government and people of Trinidad and Tobago following massive flooding saying it highlights the issue of climate change.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley has declared a national disaster after more than three days of flooding, landslides, and an earthquake.
In the wake of the disaster, Skerrit said the people of Dominica stand with the people of the twin-island republic.
“I wish on the behalf of the people and government of Dominica extend my solidarity to the Prime Minister, government and people of Trinidad and Tobago who have been enduring several days of massive flooding, flooding of unprecedented proportions,” he stated.
He said he has been in touch with Dr. Rowley to get a sense of what is going on and Dominica is there to support and provide whatever assistance it can provide.
The Prime Minister said the flooding highlights the matter of climate change, which has become a rallying cry for his government following the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria last year.
“This flooding brings to home the whole issue that we have been speaking about in this world for several decades, the issue of climate change,” he noted. “Not only is Trinidad and Tobago exposed to this, in Europe, in Asia there is massive flooding taking place, but we really feel for our brothers and sisters in Trinidad and Tobago.”
He said Dominica will continue to pray for Trinidad and Tobago that the rain will stop and the situation is brought under control so that residents can go about their normal lives.
“It’s a real concern,” the Prime Minister said.
On his Facebook page, Dr. Rowley wrote, “This is a national disaster, the flooding is quite widespread and quite severe and it is going to cost a lot of money to bring relief to people who have been affected. Notwithstanding whatever shortages we are experiencing we will have to find the resources to help.”
There were reports of looting in the Sangre Grande area following the flooding but the police were clamping down in the area.
The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) said the country was affected by an active Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) over the past several days.
The ITCZ is a belt of low pressure which circles the Earth generally near the equator where the trade winds of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres come together. It is characterized by convective activity which generates often vigorous thunderstorms over large areas. It is most active over continental land masses by day and relatively less active over the oceans.
The government estimates that 3,500 households and between 100,000 and 120,000 persons were affected by the flooding.