Heat stress, bush fires - the dry season officially begins

The Met Office has officially declared the start of the dry season and has issued warning on how to approach it.

The announcement was made via the following statement today:

"The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) is officially declaring the start of the 2019 Dry Season as the climatic patterns and changes in features are indicative of the region having transitioned to a much drier state. Assessment of the criteria necessary for the onset of the Dry Season shows that the conditions have been met and are now entrenched.

"Drain the swamp". La Romaine resident complain of snakes, caiman

An acreage of the swamp about 15 feet deep, infested by caimans, snakes and mosquitoes has developed on the outskirts of a village in La Romaine, causing disease and destruction.

The swamp was created during the construction of the Solomon Hochoy highway extension from San Fernando to Oropouche near the Mosquito Creek in La Romaine. 

Around 10 am on Thursday, the residents staged a demonstration at the edge of a swamp at Murli Street, calling on Works Minister Rohan Sinanan to bring in equipment immediately to clean their community.

EMA not aware of oil leaking into Gulf

The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) is not aware of claims made by a Cedros councillor, that wastewater from Heritage Petroleum Company is flowing into the Gulf of Paria.

Contacted for comment yesterday, communications officer at the EMA Kevon Gervais said EMA permits were issued to Petrotrin previously which were to be transferred to the new company.

“The EMA is not aware of any untreated effluent, separate and apart from permits previously issued to Petrotrin,” Gervais said.

Wastewater from Heritage Petroleum's tank farm entering gulf - Councillor

Wastewater from the Heritage Tank Farm, formerly known as the Trinmar Tank Farm is entering the Gulf of Paria affecting fishermen from Point Ligore to Icacos, Cedros Councillor Shankar Teelucksingh said on Monday.

Teelucksingh was speaking to Guardian Media after meeting with the fishermen at his office in Cedros. 

Hazardous Seas warning issued until Wednesday

The Met Office has issued a hazardous seas warning for the period 2.08 pm today to 11 am on Wednesday.

The warning says that strong low-level winds are agitating sea conditions to the North and East of Trinidad and around Tobago with waves near 2.5 metres, occasionally reaching 3 metres in open waters, resulting in hazardous conditions nearshore.

It adds that long period swells are also expected to aid in hazardous nearshore conditions during the 2nd January, 2019.

This is the second hazardous seas alert in the last week.

Australian High Commissioner invites T&T to join International Coral Reef Initiative

Australian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago John Pilbeam has invited the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to become a member of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI).

The invitation came at a meeting with Minister of Planning and Development, Camille Robinson-Regis.

The International Coral Reef Initiative is an informal partnership between Nations and organizations which strives to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems around the world.

Int'l: Dead whale found in Indonesia had over 1,000 pieces of plastic in stomach

A dead sperm whale that washed ashore in a national park in Indonesia had nearly 6kg (13 lbs) of plastic waste in its stomach, park officials say.

Items found included 115 drinking cups, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags and two flip-flops.

The carcass of the 9.5m (31ft) mammal was found in waters near Kapota Island in the Wakatobi National Park late on Monday.

The discovery has caused consternation among environmentalists.

Toco man charged with possession of a Pawi

A resident of Cumana Village, Toco has been charged under Section 70 (2) of the Environmental Management Act, Chapter 35:05 for being in possession of a Pawi also known as the Trinidad Piping Guan or ‘wild turkey’ (Pipile pipile).

The Pawi was designated as an Environmentally Sensitive Species (ESS) in 2005 under the ESS Rules, 2001.

The EMA received a report of the Pawi being held in a cage at a residence in Cumana Village.