Coastal residents cautioned as high tides persist until Nov 3
Residents along Guyana’s coastal stretch are asked to remain alert as the period of high tides is in effect, and will continue until November 4.
The Hydrometeorological Office has advised that above-normal high tides would persist, and may result in flooding. As a result, the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) is also advising residents of riverine, low-lying and flood-prone areas to take all necessary precautions, and to contact the National Emergency Monitoring System should they be affected.
In the event of their being flooded, persons are asked to stay out of the water and keep food items safe. Water-borne diseases can be contracted through contact with these waters. Direct contact with floodwaters can expose persons to several germs that can lead to any of these diseases. Guardians are also asked to keep children especially out of the water, as they are most at risk of contracting diseases; and everyone avoid swimming in canals and trenches.
Protective gear should be used, and feet should be washed regularly after persons exit the waters. If necessary, Vaseline or oil can be applied to form a barrier to protect from the dirty water.
Additionally, water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes which spread Zika, dengue and chikungunya virus. Fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly with clean water to prevent contamination.
To protect against an electric shock, turn off the main electrical switch, unplug all appliances, and move them to safe areas in the home. If it is suspected that electrical wiring has been damaged in a home, turn off the main switch and have it checked by a qualified electrician before turning on the power again.
In October last year, the high tides were unforgiving to communities on the West Coast of Demerara, including Blankenburg, Hague, Den Amstel, Fellowship, Cornelia Ida, Anna Catherina, and Oceanview Uitvlugt. This is the second major inundation to hit those communities in just over one year.
In March last year, breaches in the sea defence resulted in persons being relocated to shelters after their homes were severely flooded.
The CDC can be contacted around-the-clock at the National Emergency Monitoring System (NEMS) on 623-1700, 600-7500, or 226-1114, or by leaving a message on its social media page.