The National, Wednesday October 16th, 2013
By GABRIEL LAHOC
AT least 3,000 settlers were rudely awakened when a clogged drain sent overflowing water into their homes at the Talair compound, in Lae, on Monday night, a spokesman says.
The three-metre wide drain, catering for most of the roadside stormwater from Speedway to Kamkumung, was clogged during Monday night’s downpour.
Water overflowed and gushed into the settlement opposite the road, Philip Reliya, from Ialibu, said.
Shocked residents described their night as dangerous but were relieved to find out that no lives were lost in the ensuing chaos as it was between 11.30pm and midnight and most of them were asleep.
The flood, over a metre deep, forced many residents with floor-based bedrooms to scuttle from the inflowing water, Reliya said.
“We thought it was a tsunami and we were scared, the current was too strong to cross too, all my stuff under the house were washed away or were soaked,” he said.
Bernard Alois, from East Sepik, said there was never a flood like that since the 1980s when he first arrived there.
Apart from his family’s belonging being soaked, his chickens from the backyard were washed away while five bales of second-hand clothes were soaked, he said.
“I bought each bale for K300 each and was yet to open them for sale,” he said.
Community leader Kay Takising said the community believed the drain clog was partly due to a trade-store built over the drain.