Living on the edge - Residents on river bank keep an eye out for landslides
Despite many landslides last week in Gordon Town due to torrential rains from Tropical Storm Eta, residents of Gail Mount, on the bank of the Hope River, are still holding down their fort.
While they are concerned about the possibility of boulders falling on their homes, they are waiting to see how things progress before making a move.
"The chance of a rock falling and hitting us is slim. But on the other hand, we are on the banking. I am not really scared of the river, but I am more concerned by the overhead banking. It's made up of mostly rocks. The river is not a threat. What can we do more than pray and hope seh we nuh affected?" Shawn Burgess, a resident of 10 years told THE WEEKEND STAR.
Burgess says if Jamaica is lashed by Tropical Storm Theta, that is expected to cause a wet weekend, there could be grave damage.
"If it rains and the land get soaked and slip down, then the best I can do is take weh myself. If it happens in the night when I am asleep, then I pray father God forgive me for all the sins weh me do already. Everything replaceable, but documents like my birth paper and such, I have to put them in a waterproof container and ready to go in case of anything," he said. "I have a lot of concerns. The greatest part about it is that the hills connect. So if we have time, we can try alternative routes by going all the way up as far as across Portland. That's the safest route I know now because St. Thomas is a no-no."
Burgess said the timing of the road collapse was unexpected. "I've never seen anything like this. I was expecting it sometime next month. Before it collapse, I just walked pass it and come back," he said.
Asauna Gordon, his neighbour, lives with two children. She says she is inspecting her surroundings.
"I have walked on the road and from time to time, you observe your surrounding and stuff like that. I would not say I'm not concerned, but I'm not 100 per cent concerned. As it pertains to the house, we have been looking around to ensure that there are no boulders there that will probably come down because of the rain. We should have someone coming to look around. We have not been advised of any form of relocation," she said.
Gordon says she is hoping she doesn't have to pack up and run from her home.
"When the house was made, there's a retaining wall underneath," she said. "We do have options because in an event that we need to relocate, we have somewhere in Portmore where we could go. But I am hoping that it won't get as bad to the point where we have to leave."