Many beaches damaged on Bándabou

WILLEMSTAD — During the past weekend, the police received 104 reports of flooding due to the heavy downpour. It had rained continuously in the night of Friday to Saturday. The rain had gradually subsided late Saturday afternoon. Bándabou suffered severe flooding and several roads were closed to traffic. The beaches on Bándabou, which had already suffered during the tropical storm Tomas, are even worse now. Streams of rainwater from the inland in the direction of the sea caused turbidity of the water and damage to palapa’s and coastline.


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The beaches that are currently damaged regard Caracasbaai, Marie Pampoen, Sonesta Beach, Daaibooi, Jeremi, Grote & Kleine Knip, and Playa Westpunt. CTB will take part of the repair costs of the beaches for their account.
Guide Ronny Cathalina Wild Curaçao states that all of the water in the surrounding of Knip flows in the direction of the Grote Knip beach. The water level in the saltpans, both behind Grote Knip and Jan Thiel, has risen with one meter. "I remember a similar situation some five years ago when the water had also risen to such an extreme level. It had taken at least one and a half year before walks could be organized there again. It takes a long time for one meter of water to evaporate."
The force of the water towards the sea caused a four-meter wide gully at Grote Knip. The palapa’s were torn loose and damaged. "I don’t think it’s wise to simply fill up the gully because too much water is yet to be drained away. I think this could take months. The Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB) also maintains some of the beaches. Interim director Hugo Clarinda states that CTB keeps the beaches clean in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture, Cattle Breeding and Fisheries (LVV). After Tomas, we had made an inventory of the damage and were planning to clean the beaches and repair the damage. However, we had postponed this because we noticed that the rain was not subsiding, which is fortunate because our efforts would have been to no avail. Now we really have to wait until the rain subsides," says Clarinda.

Policy co-worker Urvin Mackaay of Minister Charles Cooper (Regional Development, MAN) says that the government is busy repairing the holes in the roads and cleaning the ditches. The LVV no longer resorts under the Minister of Regional Development since the political changes. The LVV is responsible for cleaning the ditches because these are considered part of agriculture. Mackaay states there was a plan to fill up all holes in the roads on Curaçao before December 15th. "This will take longer now due to the downpour of last weekend. We hope to finish the job before the holidays. ‘Cold asphalt’ will be imported in order to fill up the holes containing water. The asphalt produced on Curaçao can only be used to fill up ‘dry’ holes." Mackaay explains that extra asphalt is always ordered abroad every year for that matter because the local asphalt factory closes down as of December 15th. "It’s very convenient there is cold asphalt available this year. DOW places the orders, but this year’s order was placed later. The Minister has requested DOW to place next year’s order on time."
According to Mackaay, Minister Cooper indicated he wanted to set up an extra fund to keep the ditches clean. "We observed a considerable economy on this the past years. Three years ago as deputy, the Minister had encountered fierce protests with his suggestion to raise the license plate tax with 35 guilders. We hope people will understand that such a fund will have to be financed one way or the other," says Mackaay. Fourteen roads were completely flooded last weekend, causing considerable traffic chaos.

From Saturday morning up to Sunday morning, the police received approximately 88 requests for assistance with flooding due to heavy downpour. The requests had regarded 65 houses that were either entirely or partially flooded. Furthermore, a school was largely flooded, a boulder had fallen in the garden of a house at Kaya Koruna, and there was danger near the airport due to a loose boulder. Four dams had flooded. The flooded dam in Bacoval had caused considerable flooding in Jongbloed. Four companies on Caracasbaaiweg, Dapheweg, Perseusweg and Cas Coraweg has suffered water damage. Nine reports were received amongst others for clogged sewerages, flooded roads and stranded vehicles. Old folks’ home Kas di Ansianonan Uni at Grote Berg had to evacuate 38 residents, and a report was received that a house had collapsed on Gasthuisstraat. The badly hit Advent Hospital during tropical storm Tomas, did not suffer any flooding this time. The hospital was supposed to reopen today to administer patients for small operations and echo’s, but current expectations are that this will not happen this week. However, the kitchen will be open once again.