129 Seek Shelter in Tobago after Hurricane Beryl

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By Chantalé Fletcher

ONE hundred and twenty-nine people left their homes to take refuge in shelters in Tobago as category four Hurricane Beryl with sustained winds of 220 km passed over the northern part of the Caribbean island on Monday morning.

There were 103 adults and 26 children who sought shelter.

Head of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), Retired Major General Rodney Smart said there were fallen trees and electrical failures but no major casualties in the wake of the hurricane.


He said that the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard was monitoring the coastline for incoming vessels while the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force supported emergency response teams on the island.

More than 100 marine vessels have sought refuge in Trinidad waters as Hurricane Beryl was expected to affect the Eastern Windward Islands.

At a press conference on Monday morning, Minister of Rural Development and Local Government Faris Al-Rawi said in Trinidad there were five fallen trees, one landslide and one house with a roof blown off. He said in Trinidad while 97 shelters were ready only 12 people used them.

Al-Rawi said, “Six shelters became active with 12 people approached for care and were accommodated. 

“Those were found at the St Helena Community Centre and Matelot with six adults and six children were taken.”

He said, “Five people at the San Juan Regional Corporation turned up and we deactivated  the shelter after they were  tended to and returned home safely.”


Trinidad and Tobago were battered mainly by the feeder bands of Hurricane Beryl as its eye passed just north of Tobago and headed to Grenada by midday on Monday.

The RDLG stated there were 12 reports of hazardous fallen trees at the Mayaro\Rio Claro, Sangre Grande, Tunapuna\Piarco and the San Juan\Laventille Regional Corporations, with one landslide at the Diego Martin Regional Corporation and high winds in the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation.

Of rivers and their capacities, Al-Rawi said:

Arocua River at 43%,

Tumpuna River at 38%,

El Carmen at 25%,

North Oropouche at 10% and

South Oropouche at 13%.

Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan said that the two airports in Trinidad and Tobago remained closed on Monday “as we inspect the ground (runways) for any damage and wait for the wind gusts to regularise before opening back.” Caribbean Airlines stated in a release that it will resume flights on the sea bridge from 5 pm on Monday.


Minister of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales said, “There were 49 disturbances (power outages) with 29 reported in Tobago and 20 in Trinidad.”

Director of the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service Shakeer Baig said that Trinidad and Tobago was now bracing for a low-pressure system called AL96 that was located 1,600 kilometres west of the Windwards Islands and expected to make landfall by Wednesday.

Al-Rawi said while schools were closed in Trinidad and Tobago, the ones in Trinidad were expected to be opened back on Tuesday.


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