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Landslide leaves gaping hole in Town Hill house

Landslide leaves gaping hole in Town Hill house

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As Tropical Storm Matthew pounded St Vincent and the Grenadines last week, Noel Jack­son’s gut feeling was that he should vacate the house he grew up in.

Half an hour after he exited the house, a neighbouring embankment collapsed and partially destroyed his home.

Speaking from his Town Hill abode, Jackson told SEARCHLIGHT that his work at VINLEC had kept him away from his house on Wednesday, September 28, and when he returned, he noticed that there was some soil slippage above his house.{{more}}

Not comfortable with this, he decided to get dressed, get a bite to eat and return to his vehicle.

“Within about half an hour, I heard the crashing and then I saw persons running out and… pointing in this direction. When I came out, I saw all the debris,” he explained.

The Town Hill resident said that he was not able to fully assess the damage done to his house until he entered it.

“I had difficulty in opening the door, because apparently it had shifted… I got it open, went in and saw a large tree trunk protruding in the house along with debris and a large hole in the floor.”

Jackson explained that the hole in the floor was caused by a boulder which had come down with the debris.

After receiving a report of the incident, officials from the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) visited Jackson’s residence to assess the damage, along with chief engineer Brent Bailey and workers from the Social Welfare Department.

“They had a look and they were of the same opinion that this is bad,” he lamented.

The VINLEC employee said that he is hoping that his house can be shifted to the safer side of his property, despite the officials discussing a complete relocation.

Jackson further added that he believes that two concrete structures which were built on the land directly above his property also contributed to the landslide.

“There are no trees up there and as a result of no trees… to hold the lands together, the water is being deposited over the bank from the structure along with other waters. Where they are coming from I am not too sure,” he complained.

Explaining that this has been an ongoing issue for decades, he continued: “Since I was a little boy, I know my mother, my grandmother, they fought with this issue. I became big and I began fighting with it.”

He said during his battle with the property owners, he urged them to replant the trees which were removed for the construction of the structures.

Tropical Storm Matthew passed over St Vincent and the Grenadines last week, with there being one recorded death. (CM)

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