Twenty-one homes - one of which was destroyed - and a primary school were damaged during a freak storm in Gasparillo on Thursday.
The Bonne Aventure Presbyterian Primary School remained closed on Friday while arrangements were being made to repair the toilet roof which was torn off because of the strong winds.
Yesterday families spent the day trying to source material and help to repair their homes. There have been no reports of anyone suffering injury.
Thanking his lucky stars to be alive, Sharzam Mohammed, 58, said he and his wife were at their neighbour’s house helping them prepare for their daughter’s birthday party.
Mohammed, of Alladin Trace, Bonne Aventure, recalled seeing his house ripped apart by strong winds.
“The whole house destroy. I could not do nothing. I just had to watch it happen. If we were there they would be planning funeral all now,” he said.
Mohammed’s neighbour, Hema Sahadeo’s house, was not spared either. She recalled that they were cooking when heavy rain and gusty winds started.
Part of her gallery broke off, the roof over the gallery and a few sheets of galvanise over the rest of her home were also blown off. Describing the experience as frightening, she said, “Everything went up. It was a total mess.”
She said they had no choice but to cancel her daughter’s birthday party. The child turned six.
“Although it (inside the house) was wet we still had to sleep there,” she said. Mohammed and his diabetic wife also spent the night by Sahadeo. Mohammed who works for a gardener said his income is very small. But, for the past two years, he has been building his new home which is almost complete. He asked for any assistance to finish his home so he could move into it or help to rebuild his one-room wooden structure which was destroyed.
Another resident Mahase Ramsumair of Bonne Aventure Main Road, said the entire roof covering his kitchen, a 24 by 28 area, was ripped off and landed on the side of his neighbour’s house.
All his appliances, cupboards and furniture were soaked.
He said the rain only fell for about 10 to 15 minutes but it was heavy and the winds were very strong.
“It was real destruction in this area. Everybody house get a lil something. A mango tree fall, a coconut tree fall. The neighbour to the back of me, his house mash-up.” Some of the other affected areas were Caratal Road, Jahoor Ramjohn Ave, Perry Trace, Light Borne Road, Cotton Hill Road and Cocoa Piece Road.
Gasparillo/Bonne Aventure councillor Safraz Ali of the Couva-Tabaquite-Talparo Regional Corporation visited the residents together with the Disaster Management Team. They distributed mattresses and hampers.
Ali said they have submitted the claims to the National Self Help Commission and he is hoping that the process will be expedited to bring some relief to the residents.
He also said the Gasparillo Chamber of Commerce and hardware owners have also indicated their willingness to assist the residents in whatever way possible.