Excavators worked feverishly yesterday to block off water from a sand pit entering a deep gorge that was formed last Wednesday when a roadway collapsed in Central Trinidad.
The gorge, at Todd’s Road, Caparo, is estimated to be 100 feet deep at some points and more than 200 feet wide. It was created last Wednesday following heavy rains across Trinidad as the sandy soil in the area started slipping and collapsing into a large artificial lake created to the north by sand-mining operations. Sahadeo Boondoo, councillor for the area on the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation, said heavy sand-mining in the area was believed to be one of the causes of the disaster. He is calling for a thorough investigation by the relevant authorities to determine if there were any underground caverns where the incident took place.
Boondoo said unless preventative measures were taken the problem could worsen. It occurred through a stretch of abandoned orange estates that were once cultivated by Caroni (1975) Limited. However, residents used the existing dirt roadway as a shortcut to get from Todd’s Road to Palmiste, Longdenville and Ravine Sable. The area also was used by trucks transporting sand from various quarries in the area. Several private mining operations take place in the area.
There was also a mine operated by the Estate Management and Business Development Company (EMBD)—one of the special purpose state companies set up by the former PNM Government. Several curious people visited the scene that is now being called the “Central Grand Canyon.” However, visiting the area is highly dangerous and is not recommended since the land could slip at any time. The area has since been blocked off.
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