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Information note: Flooding in Guyana

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Bridgetown, Barbados, 4:00 pm Friday December 19, 2008 (CDERA) - Guyana has been experiencing excessive rainfall since the beginning of December 2008. Region 3 (West Demerara/Essequibo Islands) and Region 4 (Demerara/Mahaica) have been inundated by floodwaters. Widespread flooding has been reported in low-lying communities on the East Coast of Demerara with 8 - 14 inches of water settling on the land.

Water being pumped at Liliendaal, December 18, 2008. Photo Credit, Guyana Information Agency

The weekend weather forecast for December 20-21 indicates that there could be as much as 4-8 inches of rain each day during this period. Further rainfall is expected to exacerbate the present flood situation.

National Actions

The Guyana Government Information Agency (GINA) reported that President Bharrat Jagdeo briefed the media on the various measures that the Government has been taking since the heavy rainfall period commenced and further plans that are in store to drain accumulated water off the land.

The situation is currently being considered as a Level 1 event. A Level 1 event within the CDERA response system means that the event is being coordinated and managed at the national level.

Local authorities have initiated and begun to identify the immediate needs and are addressing the situation at this time. Key mitigative actions identified are:

1. Alternative arrangements for drainage

2. Increased medical support for the affected population

3. Bleach and disinfectants

4. Sensitization of affected population on good hygiene practices in flood situations

Regional Actions

CDERA has been in contact with the local officials and its partners on the ground.

Efforts are underway by the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) to increase the capability for the use of satellite imagery to facilitate real-time monitoring of the extent of floodwaters, as well as, to assist in the assessment of any potential damage.

CDERA will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as necessary.

Contact Details: The CDERA CU 24hr contact number is 246 425 0386