Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 3rd 2017 Contents A6 news
guardian.co.tt Thursday, August 3, 2017
Maracas landslide cleared
JENSEN LA VENDE
Ministry of Works and
Transport workers yesterday
spent close to eight hours
clearing a landslide on the
North Coast Road near Uncle
The ministry in a statment ad-
vised motorists to proceed with
caution and be aware of heavy
equipment on site and observe
all directional signs and barriers,
and to drive at a reduced speed
on approaching the affected area.
According to one employee, and
resident Kurt Garcia, the landslide
took place around 5.30 am yester-
day completely blocking access to
the roadway leading to Las Cuevas
and Tyrico beaches. The landslide
occurred after torrential showers
on Emancipation Day.
He said work began around 7.30
am and ended just after 3 pm.
Work crews are expected to re-
turn to the site today.
Garcia said the dirt, trees, and
rocks were removed and motorists,
villagers and beachgoers were able
to use the road just after 3 pm.
Speaking with Guardian Media
earlier in the day Garcia warned
that there could be more land-
slips, which are common during
the rainy season.
"I am working with the Ministry
for about 30 years now and living
in the area for 53 years and when-
ever the rainy season comes we get
this. Up to yesterday (Tuesday) we
had to clear the road because of
another landslide. Right now I am
watching this and I am watching
that tree up there and we could
have another landslide if it has
more rains. Anybody passing here
should be careful," Garcia said.
Workers directed vehicles in and
out of the area along the embank-
ment overlooking Maracas beach.
While three dump trucks and
two tractors took turns remov-
ing the dirt and trees that fell,
workers complained that they are
operating without the necessary
tools such as hard hats, power saws
and Personal Protective Equip-
Workers said they have to some-
times use their own chain saws to
cut fallen trees, none of them had
hard hats on and only one was seen
wearing steel-tipped boots as the
others wore sneakers and rubber
They also complained that they
are also being made to wait an in-
ordinate length of time to collect
their overtime when they have to
treat with emergencies such as
Gas scare at Atlantic's plant
Operations grounded to a
halt at Atlantic's Point Fortin
liquefied natural gas facility
yesterday after a gas leak sent
workers scampering in fear
that there would have been an
The company, however, was
able to contain the situation and
evacuate the facility. There were
no reports or anyone being in-
jured or falling ill. In a video sent
to T&T Guardian, a thick cloud of
gas could be seen covering an area
of the plant.
In a press statement yesterday,
the company stated that around 11
am there was a hydrocarbon release
at Atlantic's Point Fortin facility.
"The company's response and
safety systems immediately acti-
vated as per their design and all
staff at the facility were evacuated
as a precautionary measure.With-
in 20 minutes the incident was
brought under control and techni-
cal teams are currently conducting
The company stated that all-
clear was given and it was in the
process of advising the relevant
stakeholders, including the Point
Fortin Borough Corporation and
When contacted Point Fortin
Mayor Abdon Mason said he was
informed of the incident and was
"comfortable that Atlantic LNG
has done what was needed to do
to bring the situation under control
and isolate the leak."
Recalling the incident, Damon
Moses, a resident, who lives close
by, said he heard a loud noise.
"Workers start running out and
a woman faint and a white man
and another fellah had to help
her. They say it was going to blow
up," he said.
Moses described the incident as
scary, especially since the flares
were on. "People thought it was
going to explode.
The residents run out thehouse
and were watching." He was dis-
appointed that while the company
sent a bus to shuttle its workers to
safety, the company did not im-
mediately notify the residents of
what was taking place.
"They should have some kind
of emergency plan for we too. We
living right there. If I walk for ten
minutes I will reach inside the
plant," he said.
However, Atlantic's media com-
munication's officer Billson Hain-
sley said such a plan does exist and
it involves working closely with the
regional corporation and commu-
nity organisations to ensure that
residents are notified. However, he
said in this incident it was not nec-
essary to evacuate the residents.
Atlantic, according to its web-
site, is one of the world's largest
producers of Liquefied Natural
They produce LNG from natu-
ral gas delivered from fields in and
around the country to its four-train
liquefaction facility in Port Fortin.
The landslide which blocked off a section of the North Coast Road, yesterday.
PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
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