BROKEN BRANCHES: A tree rests against a house at Ortoire Village, Mayaro, where Marvin Brown was trapped when the tree fell on the family home during high winds and rain yesterday.

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Mayaro man escapes death during ‘freak’ storm

By \\\\\ Susan Mohammed susan.mohammed@trinidadexpress.com

A 26-year-old Mayaro man escaped being crushed by a fruit tree which crashed through the roof and onto him in his bed during heavy winds and rain that lashed the east coast yesterday.

Marvin Brown was rescued when relatives and friends used chain saws to cut the branches and set him free.

“My brother nearly died in the room. He was pinned in the room where the tree fell on him in his bed. We had to use chain saws to cut him out two hours after,” said Kathy Ann Brown. 

At around 3.30 a.m., a 15-minute period of gusty winds and heavy rainfall beat against the coastline, felling trees, blowing away galvanised roofing sheets and parts of wooden houses. 

“It was a frightening. The windows were shaking and the breeze was very hard. Everything happened fast,” said Kathy Ann. “Now three quarters of the house is destroyed. We have no water or lights. We are trying to find somewhere to stay tonight”. 

Two other adults in the household and three children, aged between 15 years and 17 months old, escaped injury. 

At Sea Spray Village, a wooden and concrete three-bedroom house owned by Tonya Crystal Lewis was almost completely destroyed. Lewis, 30, who lives with her two children, aged two and five months old, said they were not at home at the time since she was at work, and her children were at the baby-sitter. 

“I don’t have a house anymore. The roof was completely blown off. The kitchen and the front have completely fallen down,” said Lewis. 

Local government councillor for Cocal/Mafeking Brinsley Maharaj, said he sought immediate help for two families where the most damage was done. At other houses where roofs blew off, tarpaulin was distributed. 

“We have an efficient system in place and we activated it,” Maharaj said. 

Maharaj said today he and the victims will visit the office of the Member of Parliament for Mayaro to apply for assistance through the Self Help Commission. 

Officials from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management also visited. 

 
what caused it:
  •   A senior meteorologist at the 
  • Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological office said the country experienced a tropical wave which was typical during the rainy season. 
  • “There was a wind surge which is a strong low level wind. It passed us on Wednesday and also passed us 
  • yesterday. There was a tropical wave and we had associated strong low level winds which brought about the gusty conditions that were experienced not only in Southern Trinidad  but there were some reports in Tobago. 
  • The wave has passed and right now we just have ITCZ (Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone) activity over us. This will linger on into today and we will start to see improvement by tomorrow afternoon. Tonight the conditions will be more settled than during the day, but you will get one or two periods of rainfall and gusty winds”, said the senior meteorologist.
  • “It is the rainy season and the 
  • tropical waves and the ITCZ are all features of the rainy season.”
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