Water level rising rapidly in Region Nine

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The water levels in the rivers and creeks in Region Nine is rising rapidly, forcing the evacuation of 25 families while others seek higher ground, Joseph Harmon, Minister of State said Thursday morning.

The Region Nine administration has indicated they are able to manage the situation, but would need help if the flooding worsens, Harmon told a Post Cabinet media briefing.

In the town of Lethem and neighbouring communities, the water level had risen by as much as five feet on Wednesday,

A total of 25 residents had been evacuated from their homes and housed at Culvert City School, Tabatinga Community Centre and the Amerindian Hostel. Additional affected residents have moved to relatives who live on higher ground.

Five schools have been ordered closed, since some are inaccessible, and others will be used as shelters.

The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) is in contact with the Regional Administration and has identified and quantified the needs of the communities.

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, who is performing the duties of President, summoned a meeting with selected Ministers and gave instructions that Ministers be on the ground to get a first-hand look at the situation.

As a result, Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Anette Ferguson has been dispatched to Lethem and is looking at infrastructure issues.

Minister Harmon, who oversees the CDC, will travel to the Region on Friday.

Harmon said the community radio stations in the hinterland regions have been playing a key role in informing residents of the current situation and the responses of the Region and Central Government.

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