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May 28, 2009

Independence village water tower crashes to the ground

Story PictureFrom Placencia, the News Five crew headed to Independence. And like other parts of the country impacted by the early morning tremor, the residents were still in shock.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
Independence Village rests on higher ground than Placencia and also experienced less damage. But Independence residents shared the same trauma of all earthquake victims.

Tony Zabaneh, Resident, Independence Village
“About two-thirty this morning, I felt my house shaking and my bed throw me clean bout two feet in the air and from deh dah clean inna di bathroom and wah fast piss. After dat I couldn’t even go back inna di bed, mi heart still di beat.”

Melva Coleman, Resident Independence Village
“After two I feel my house shaking, my bed is shaking and I bawl out for my children them and what happen, my daughter tell me mommy it’s an earthquake. From then I could not go back to sleep until this morning.”

Dale Antonio, Resident Independence Village
“I just feel the bed dance wah lee Punta right, but then slightly. I mi wah tell my daughter stop play inna di bed; I feel like dah she. Den sudden one I just feel di thing dah like, ih di wave. So I jump up and I tell my family dis dah earthquake and luckily, like I just tell do brother just now, I lived in LA so I know lot bout earthquake. First thing I tell my family mek dehn go get under di doorway and hold on tight because dat dah one ah di safe place beside outside.”

Stacey Antonio, Resident Independence Village
“I was frightened then I come from the bathroom then I—when I di come my pa wake me and my mom jump up and my father hurry. The bed is moving right den when my pa wake me up, my pa mek me hold on tight to thing da front and my pa gone get a candle. He light it and when my pa seh mek I stay deh.”

There were also no loss of life in Independence, but the water supply in the village was cut.

Melva Coleman
“No water.”

Jose Sanchez
“So you can’t cook, you can’t wash.”

Melva Coleman
“We can’t cook, we can’t wash. I have di lot ah dirty clothes pile up in my house and no water; not even to bathe.”

According to the village chairman, there is no water because during the earthquake, the water tower had swayed and toppled with a towering boom.

George Murray, Chairman, Independence Village
“The first thing I did, I heard when the tank fell because it sound like a boom. Immediately I tell my wife, that’s the water tank and I came out here with my flashlight, me and my grandson. We came and saw the tank down, light was out, not much you could see and not much you could do. Immediately I pick up the phone and call the manager of the water board, Mrs. Mirna, and she said that she is already assessing the situation and she was going out to the main pump site to cut off the water so the water wouldn’t be throwing away. At daybreak I got in my vehicle and I went street to street over the village and fortunately the only damage was the water tank.”

Jose Sanchez
“No one was hurt.”

George Murray
“No, no, no, not as far as I know. No one was hurt and we can happily tell the villagers that we will still have water even if we noh got no tank. We are working on setting the main direct from the pump.”

Dwight Neal, Chairman, Water Board
“We have crew working, we are trying to reconnect the main line. From all investigations and observations, that’s the only break that we have apart from the tank falling of course. Now, the system is set up in such a way that we can pump directly into the distribution system. Once we’re reconnected the main line, which was broken when the tank fell, we can start pumping back into the system. What we can say to people is that we are going to work on this all day until we get it going again, even if it is until this evening because water is everybody’s business.”

Reporting fro News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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