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MEDIA RELEASE #4 - NEOC PROVIDES AN UPDATE ON INTERAGENCY COORDINATION SUBSEQUENT TO SEISMIC ACTIVITY

MEDIA RELEASE #4

Wednesday 22nd August, 2018                                                         3:00 p.m.

NEOC PROVIDES AN UPDATE ON INTERAGENCY COORDINATION 

SUBSEQUENT TO SEISMIC ACTIVITY

On behalf of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) continues to coordinate assessments of all critical infrastructure, government buildings, roadways, and private properties subsequent to further seismic activity felt across the country on Wednesday 22nd August 2018 at 9:28 a.m.

The Minister of National Security the Honourable Stuart Young addressed the nation at the Post Cabinet briefing earlier today. At this time, there are no reports of serious injury, loss of life or significant damage to critical infrastructure.

Minister Young advised citizens and visitors to remain calm and to contact the relevant agencies, if in need of assistance.  Impacted citizens are advised to contact the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service at 999, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) at 511, the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) at 211 or your Municipal Corporation through its toll-free hotline number (please see attachment).

Representatives from various National Security Agencies continue to be stationed at the National Emergency Operations Centre to coordinate and verify information for public updates. Law enforcement officials are also out in full force on the ground and are ready to render assistance where necessary and to enforce law and order.

Some government ministries were closed today for structural engineers to conduct the necessary inspection and assessments. Assessments are also underway by the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service (TTFS) of the nation’s school and school laboratories.

The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) refutes rumours that the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Port of Spain is structurally unsound following recent seismic activity. The Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service has conducted an initial assessment of the building.

The Geological Society of Trinidad and Tobago (GSTT) has confirmed activity at the Devil’s Woodyard Mud Volcano in New Grant, Princes Town. To maintain public safety and security, the Hindustan Road in New Grant remains closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic except to persons who reside in the area. Citizens and visitors are advised to avoid visiting the area at this time.

The Ministry of Works and Transport (MOWT) has actively initiated inspection of critical infrastructure across Trinidad. Additionally, the MOWT is coordinating and implementing a national response team consisting of qualified and experienced personnel in building infrastructure. This team is being dispatched across all regions on a priority basis to determine the structural safety of government buildings for occupancy. 

Facility Managers are advised to conduct an inspection of all facilities as the safety of all workers and building occupants are of paramount importance to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. Should persons require further information and clarification on the inspection of buildings, please contact the Designs Engineering Branch at 625-6813 or email at communications@mowt.gov.tt.  

The Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) has been partially activated in order to assist persons affected by the seismic activity. TEMA has advised that initial damage assessments in Tobago have been fifty percent (50%) completed.

The Ministry of Health has confirmed that all health facilities across Trinidad and Tobago are operational.

The Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) has confirmed that ninety-nine percent (99%) of its services has been restored to affected areas. T&TEC is working diligently on restoring services in affected areas across the country. The Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) has confirmed no service impact has been reported.

All first responder agencies are on alert to provide assistance in the event of aftershocks.

The ODPM continues to remind citizens of the following in the event of aftershocks:

  • STAY CALM. DO NOT PANIC. BE ALERT.
  • If inside stay inside, do not run out of the building as you may be injured by falling debris.
  • If inside, DROP, COVER and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. 
  • Get under a sturdy desk, table or bed and hold on or stand in a strong doorway.
  • DO NOT USE ELEVATORS OR STAIRS.
  • Move away from windows, mirrors, glass doors, pictures, bookcases, hanging plants and heavy objects.
  • If outside and there are no obvious signs of danger nearby, stay there.
  • If outside, stay away from glass buildings, electricity poles and bridges.
  • If in a vehicle, do not stop on or under a bridge.
  • Always look out for falling plaster, bricks, lighting fixtures and other objects.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), first responders and other support agencies remain committed to the people of Trinidad and Tobago and continue to support the coordination of various stakeholders to ensure assistance can be provided to affected persons in timely manner.

WE WISH TO UNDERSCORE THAT TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO IS NOT CURRENTLY UNDER ANY TSUNAMI WATCH OR WARNING. 

 

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