Landslide at Fort Tyson Rise of Frigate Bay, St. Kitts. (Alpha Aerials)
Several homes in the Fort Tyson Rise area, part of Frigate Bay, sustained damage following a major landslide on Thursday 12th November 2020.
The affected area is approximately 3.2 kilometers east of the capital, Basseterre on the island of St Kitts.
Since the start of November, the Leeward Islands, including St. Kitts and Nevis, have been affected by multiple tropical waves, two of which spawned Hurricane Eta and now Tropical Depression Thirty-One. These weather features produced copious amounts of rainfall, triggering flash floods and landslides across much of the Leewards and French Antilles.
Residents of Fort Tyson Rise evacuated their homes on Thursday morning with the National Emergency Management Agency of St. Kitts and Nevis receiving reports of the landslide Thursday afternoon.
According to National Disaster Coordinator Abdias Samuel, “The state is using all of its resources to ensure that the safety and security of the country are of priority and we do everything necessary to support and respond to the affected.”
Director of Public Works Cromwell Williams said the engineers of the Public Works Department received a call from a homeowner in the Fort Tyson rise area at abo,ut 7:00 am and he indicated that he would have observed overnight significant cracks in his house.
“We got on the scene looked at his property, which is a multi-story building and indeed confirmed some serious cracks throughout the house. We also observed that at least one neighboring property also showed some structural cracks.”
“Around midday, we got a call suggesting that the situation further deteriorated throughout the property. We returned and saw that the cracks were much more pronounced and were wider. We continued to observe, and the property, in particular, would have slipped and almost collapse.”
Williams noted that they are continuing to observe the area. “We would want to caution the general public that the area is not safe for anyone to venture into. We had time to evacuate not only that homeowner but neighboring properties.”
In Trinidad and Tobago, landslides are common in our elevated areas across the country, particularly following a heavy rainfall event. See how you can be prepared and know what to do in case of a landslide.