Johnson Town houses affected by landslides to be demolished
The two houses which were left precariously perched on a hillside overlooking the Johnson Town main road near Lucea in Hanover, following two major land slippages recently, are to be demolished on the order of the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC).
The houses, which were occupied by some seven persons, became structurally compromised following heavy rains and land slippages on June 29 and 30. The land slippages completely blocked the main road on the first day, and partially blocked it again on the second day.
At Thursday’s monthly meeting of the HMC, Councillor Easton Edwards of the Lucea division said, based on the land slippages, the two houses, which are seemingly still being occupied, could collapse at any time.
“Where those houses are, they can come down at any time because, right now, we are still losing soil out there. We need to tell the person or persons who are sleeping in them that we do not want them to come tumbling down with someone inside them,” said Edwards, who noted that lights are seen on in the houses at night.
Edwards pointed out that he has had discussions with the householders and has encouraged them to vacate the premisis. So he is not sure if they are the ones still occupying the houses when the lights are seen on at night.
Subsequent to Edwards’ statement, David Gardener, chief executive officer of the HMC, advised the corporation that, because of the potentially hazardous situation with regards to the houses, they can be declared as public nuisances and be demolished by the corporation.
“It does not make any sense we play the waiting game,” said Mayor Sheridan Samuels, who is also the chairman of the HMC. “When you pass there, you can see that at any given time this building can come down. So we must liaise with the owners and let them understand that we will have to demolish these buildings.”
A decision was then taken to have dialogue with the owners of the property as to whether they would demolish the houses on their own, or they would like the assistance of the HMC.
It was further pointed out that a serious look should also be given to another building on the other side of the road, as that area has the same soil type as where the land slippage is taking place, and could also become unstable and dangerous.