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GUYANA - flooding

Tuesday 25, January-2005 by TONY COZIER in Australia

esidents of a flooded house yesterday using a makeshift bridge to avoid the surging water in east coast Demerara in Guyana. Residents of a flooded house yesterday using a makeshift bridge to avoid the surging water in east coast Demerara in Guyana.


West Indies cricket vice-captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul has become a victim of the massive flooding that has rocked his homeland Guyana.

The left-handed batsman, who is in Australia with the side for the VB Series, said yesterday that his house (on the East Coast) was four feet under water and that he had lost most of his possessions.

“I’ve been in contact with friends and family and have seen pictures on the Internet and there’s nothing left downstairs,” Chanderpaul said. “Everything’s damaged beyond repair – furniture, television, fridge, stove, everything.”

In the past week, West Indies players on tour of Australia, have been shocked by news of the floods that have inundated Georgetown.

During the International Cricket Council Champions Trophy in England in September, the players assisted victims after Hurricane Ivan slammed Grenada, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Now they are putting together help for Chanderpaul.

Only his vehicle, that had been driven to another area, and a few items were saved. He explained that there was no insurance since companies did not offer coverage for flood in Georgetown, which is below sea level.

West Indies team media liaison, Imran Khan, also a resident of Georgetown, said his house and those of two other players, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Reon King, had escaped major damage.

In Guyana, there have been more than 50 inches of rain since December 26, in unseasonal bad weather. The situation has forced the switch of the fifth-round Carib Beer Series match from Bourda, Georgetown, to Barbados.

Authorities in the South American nation hurried supplies of drinking water to residents trapped in their homes by high flood waters and set up mobile water tankers in some of the worst-hit areas. Water access points were also opened in 29 affected communities.

Some schools are expected to be re-opened tomorrow after being closed for more than a week. Sources in Guyana said yesterday the sun had come out, but while the water in some areas was receding, on the East Coast water kept coming and investigators were trying to find out why.

Troops have been feeding up to 8 000 people a day, while the government is buying meals from restaurants for flood victims, some of whom have lined up along highways seeking help.




 

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