Agriculture Ministry responds to Tropical Storm Karen

In response to the “red level” adverse weather alert issued by the Meteorological Office of Trinidad and Tobago (MET Office) earlier today, staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries (MALF) has - since 8:00 a.m. this morning, 23 September 2019 - been on the job providing support to various State entities. In line with its recently commissioned Disaster Risk Management Plan, the Ministry’s Engineering Division will provide support to the Ministry of Works and Transport (MOWT), while its Horticulture Division and Forestry Division are mobilized to provide support in the clearing of fallen trees and other work required to reduce or remove risks along the country’s main roadways.

The Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago (ZSTT) has also been mobilized to secure the Zoo animals, to respond to all calls for animal rescue and finally to respond to calls which requires the use of the flat bottom boats and outboard engines acquired last year for use in disaster response. Finally, Officers of MALF’s Fisheries Division have since Friday 20th September, 2019, been alerting coastal communities and all fishing interests of the rough seas bulletins/warnings and the continued risks associated with the northerly swells.

At this time, led by its Director, Engineering Division, MALF is responding to requests for assistance from the MOWT and has been mobilizing staff from both MALF’s Regional Administration North and South Divisions to secure assets from its El Carmen to Centeno Offices as well as deliver fuel to its Plum Mitan drainage pumps.

The Ministry is also monitoring what is happening in key food production areas which are flood prone. This includes Orange Grove, Maloney, North and South Aranguez, Tabaquite, Woodland and surrounding areas; Navet; Plum Mitan; and other areas.

The Ministry commends its staff, the many volunteers and all national emergency coordinating entities / bodies for their selfless efforts thus far and looks forward to the continued vigilance and co-operation of all parties during this very trying circumstance.

Further, MALF notes that the Ministry of Health has advised that members of the public avoid contact with both the carcasses of dead animals and animal urine, particularly where persons may have cuts or abrasions of the skin.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries will continue to provide periodic updates particularly related to our farmers and fisherfolk.

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