Region Three reacts to tremor

─ no report of damage or injury in regions

─ safety protocols followed

─ resident recalled Civil Defence Commission (CDC) had advised the community how to react in event of natural disasters

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Tremors from the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that hit the northern coast of Venezuela on Tuesday, August 21, at approximately 15:30hrs, were felt all the way in Essequibo Islands-West Demerara Region Three, Guyana. The Department of Public Information (DPI) spoke to a few residents about their experience.

In Leonora, West Coast Demerara, Martin Biswah, who lives on a piece of land that overlooks the mighty Atlantic Ocean, said when the shaking began he thought it might have been his little nephew jumping up and down in the house that was causing the television to shake. “Within a couple of seconds, I realised this was unusual and I shouted for my sister who got very hysterical. She grabbed her son and we ran out of the house into an open space. Of course, my sister started to cry,” he recalled, adding that surrounding neighbours were also out of their homes.

Following flooding resulting from a breach in the sea defence at Melville and Sans Souci, in June this year, Biswah said that the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) had advised the community how to react in the event of natural disasters.

Gotie Budram from Wakenaam Island painted a different picture. “All I saw was the water in the drain going up and down and I look up thinking God coming (laughing) and next thing I knew the house was shaking. I was shocked, to be honest. Lots of things ran through my mind.” According to her, the shaking lasted for about 3 minutes and it was probably the longest 3 minutes of her life.

On the other hand, in Ruimzeight on the West Coast of Demerara, Sharon Thomas was driving on the road when her vehicle suddenly started to shake. “I thought my wheels were going to fall off and immediately stopped thinking someone had tampered with my vehicle (chuckles), then I realise it was a tremor. “Guyana is a blessed nation and we need to continue to pray.” I heard about these earth tremors before and now I have finally experienced one and yes it was frightening. It tells me that no matter how strong I think I am, there are forces stronger than me. Let’s pray Guyana, Lets Pray!”

Carol Ferguson on the island of Leguan said: “We were all busily occupied and it was my daughter who first asked me if I felt it; that was when the entire family tuned in and the shaking sank in. We stood up and looked at our house shaking and heard the windows rattling, the veranda rails moved, ripples were visible in the trench. We were scared and it is the first time we experienced in a long while. It has happened before but this one lasted longer.”

An excavator operator, Haresh Ramcharitar said: “I live in Enmore but work in Region Three… Imagine me doing my work and then the very drain that I am cleaning with stagnant water started to get waves and no breeze was blowing. I didn’t feel the shaking maybe because the machine was shaking also. I got worried. It was a nice but scary experience,”

Krish Kushial of Meten-Meer-Zorg said he was whipping up some banana milkshakes when the blender began to shake. He recalls that his wife suddenly turned around and said: “watch here.” Kushial said he ran outside to see his water tank shaking. “It was scary… It lasted for about three minutes but in my mind, it was way longer.” He noted that he opted not to park his vehicle “underneath the house last night just to be safe”.

There has been no report of damage or injury.

Story and Images: Ganesh Mahipaul

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