Heavy, persistent rainfall experienced on Thursday may continue until Sunday.
That’s according to the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Office.
In an Adverse Weather Alert (orange level) issued on Thursday, the Met Office said an active Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) continued to produce periods of rain/showers and thunderstorm activity.
It said this can lead to flash or riverine flooding as well as landslides/landslips in areas so prone.
Gusty winds can be experienced in the vicinity of heavy downpours, the Met Office advised.
The orange level adverse weather alert is in effect for 10 a.m. today to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Riverine Flood Alert
The Met Office has also issued a Riverine Flood Alert Orange Level for communities located along Trinidad’s main river courses and associated tributaries, from 6 p.m. today to 12 p.m. on Tuesday.
The Met Office said currently, river levels are significantly high and are expected to rise further as more rainfall is forecast over the next several days.
Riverine flooding occurs when water levels in a river over-tops its banks and spills onto surrounding areas. This type of flooding is more widespread and usually lasts for several days, the Met Office explained.
“Persons residing, traversing or working in flood prone areas, especially along the Caroni River Basin are urged to be extra vigilant and to take the necessary steps to preserve life and property. Be alert for rising river levels and possible over-spill. Do not take unnecessary risks. Avoid intentionally walking or driving through flood waters,” the Met Office warned.
In light of the weather alert, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) has advised persons to ‘Get Ready and Stay Ready’ by implementing the following safety measures:
1. Pre-position sandbags around your property, especially if your area or property has a history of flooding;
2. After heavy rainfall, stay inside until water levels have subsided;
3. Do not walk, play or drive through flood waters of unknown depth and current;
4. Be cautious when walking /driving along hillsides or landslide-prone areas;
5. If there are signs that flooding is about to occur near your property, move important items to a higher floor if possible;
6. If impacted by the adverse weather, please contact your Municipal Corporation or the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) through its toll-free hotline numbers.
An Orange Alert means there s a high risk to personal and property safety, and persons should plan their emergency response to safeguard life and property.