The roofs of at least three houses at Zorg-en-Hoop, West Bank Berbice (WBB) Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) were on Wednesday blown away as a result of the heavy winds that accompanied a freak storm.
The zinc sheets were ripped off the rafters, causing household items and other materials to go flying through the air.
A three-year-old girl, daughter of Bibi Sofia Lakraj, who was left in a hammock on the patio as her mother went inside to close the windows during the heavy downpour, miraculously escaped injury after the patio of their house collapsed.
Lakraj recalled that the freak storm struck at about 14:00h. “The place was black, and (I put) my baby to stay in the hammock because I was going and lock the window… As I go inside to lock the window, the rooftop fly out and the wood from the top fall and hit me,” she said.
Lakraj said she held on to a piece of furniture to secure herself. “I try to open the bedroom door to come and save my daughter, and when I get to open it and come, the whole verandah cave in and I had to crawl and go and find (her). She was screaming.”
Lakraj said the infant sustained only mild injuries to her leg.
Meanwhile, her husband Christopher said he was a short distance away from home when he received information that the roof of his house had blown off.
According to the labourer, as he arrived at home, he saw that even the rafters had been ripped off from the house, and most of them had landed in a neighbour’s yard.
“I could not believe what I saw when I came home! I couldn’t recognise this was my house… Everything displaced! Some parts in the bush, some parts next door, some parts about five (or) six house lots away.”
He estimates his losses to be in the millions.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the street, a small house also had a part of the roof blown off, the solar panel being removed with that part.
Villagers were prompt in assisting with the repairs to that structure. The wind also removed the zinc sheets from another building in the same village.
Another resident, Cheryl Mangal, said several of her household items were damaged beyond repair due to the storm.
The Region Five Administration has since visited the affected families and promised to offer the necessary support.