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Message: Sandy, strengthened to a Category 1 Hurricane is affecting Jamaica. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Jamaica, central and northwestern Bahamas. A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for Haiti and a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the south-Eastern Bahamas (as of 5.00 p.m. October 24th, 2012).

THE SITUATION:
At 5.00p.m. the center of Tropical Storm Sandy was located near latitude 18.3 degrees North and longitude 76.9 West or about 25 miles North North East of Kingston, Jamaica. Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph with higher gusts. Hurricane force winds extend outwards up to 30 miles and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles from the center.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Jamaica central and northwestern Bahamas. A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for Haiti and a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the south-Eastern Bahamas.

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere in the warning area within 24 to 36 hours.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

PROGNOSIS:
According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, some weakening is expected as Sandy moves over eastern Cuba. Some re-strengthening is expected as the system moves into the Bahamas.

The system is moving towards the north near 14 mph but an increasing forward speed is expected overnight and into Thursday.

Hurricane conditions are expected to continue in portions of Jamaica for the next few hours and to spread across the central and north-western Bahamas late Thursday and Friday.

Sandy is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of six (6) to twelve inches across Jamaica with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches possible. These rains may produce life threatening flash floods and mud slides, especially in areas of mountainous terrain. Storm surges may raise water levels by as much as one to three feet above normal tide levels along the Southern and Eastern coasts of Jamaica. In the Bahamas, three to five inches of rainfall are expected with isolated maximum amounts of five inches. Within the hurricane warning areas of the Bahamas storms surges will raise water levels by as much as five to eight feet above normal tide levels. The surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves.

NATIONAL ACTIONS:

Jamaica

  • The National Emergency Operations Centre has been operationalized as of 10 p.m. Tuesday October 23rd, 2012.
  • Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for communities along the Southern coastline, which could be impacted by storm surges with surge heights of approximately three (3) to six (6) feet.
  • The Jamaica Urban Transport Company (JUTC) has been assisting in the evacuation of persons.
  • Approximately 143 persons were evacuated between Tuesday, October 23 and Wednesday, October 24 from St Andrew, Taylor Lands (Bull Bay) and St Catherine, Old Harbour Bay.
  • Residents in low-lying areas along the coastline and other vulnerable areas were urged to evacuate ahead of the storm.
  • Communities have been advised of the likely hazards that may affect them.
  • Shelter listings have been issued and residents have been advised of the shelters that have been activated and available for occupancy. At 2:30 pm 67 shelters were opened in 11 parishes, housing 1049 persons.
  • All small craft operators have been advised to remain in safe harbour until all warning messages have been lifted and wind and sea conditions have returned to normal.
  • The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has been issuing press releases to keep the public informed and advising them on preparatory action to take.

Airports:

  • International and domestic airports will remain closed until Thursday, October 25th, 2012.

Roads and Infrastructure

  • Bog Walk George is closed until further notice.
  • Breadnut Hill, St. Ann – partially blocked road due to downed trees and landslide
  • Blue Lagoon, Portland – road impassable due to fallen trees
  • As conditions deteriorate other routes may also be affected.

Haiti

  • Rainfall over Haiti has varied from intermittent to continuous in several parts of the country.
  • Some flooding and raised river levels have been reported.
  • The Department of Civil Protection (CPD) has mobilized resources at the central level and throughout the country to provide assistance as warranted.
  • The National Meteorological Centre (NMC), together with the Permanent Secretariat of Risk Management and Disaster (SPGRD) and the Department of Civil Protection (DPC) continue to urge residents to remain vigilant and take necessary precautionary actions.
  • The Technical Director of the National Centre of National Emergency Operations (COUN) held a press conference at 11 a.m. today to provide updates on the weather system and to brief the press on precautionary actions to preserve life and property.
  • Public advisories have been circulated since yesterday urging residents in the threatened areas to take the necessary precautions.
  • Information is being shared on the status of the weather system and the state of readiness amongst the Ministry of Interior and local authorities, Clusters and the media for dissemination to the general public
  • All health institutions are on alert.
  • In the Southern Department, the following has been reported:
    o 1 dead in Camp Perrin (drowning)
    o Flooding of the General Hospital (Cayes)
    o Landslide - Morne St Georges.
    o Floods - Camp Perrin

Bahamas

  • The Prime Minister addressed the nation earlier today to inform the country of the expected threat from the system and to advise of the closure of schools, banks and other non-essential services.
  • The National Emergency Operations Centre was fully activated at 12.05p.m. today. The Emergency Operations Centres of Ministries and Family Islands Administrators have also been activated as of 5.00pm.
  • The National Disaster Committee will meet this morning to discuss the status of preparations by the various disaster response entities and will advise the Prime Minister on the situation and actions being taken.
  • Public advisories continue to be issued urging residents to be vigilant and to take the necessary precautionary actions.

REGIONAL ACTIONS:
The Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) continues to be in contacted with the affected/threatened states and stands ready to provide assistance as is required.

CDEMA will continue to monitor the system and provide updates as necessary.

CONTACT DETAILS: The CDEMA CU 24-hour contact number 1(246) 425 0386

 

Vacancies

CDEMA Annual Reports