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THE SITUATION:
Severe rains and high winds due to a Low Level Trough System impacted the Participating States of CDEMA’s Central Sub-Region of Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica through Monday 23rd to Wed 25th December, 2013.

 

The synopsis by the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) stated that a small low level trough had moved into the Eastern Caribbean under the influence of a mid to upper level trough. The orientation of the eastern side of the upper level trough had significantly enhanced showers and thunderstorm activity over the states of the Eastern Caribbean.

Between December 23rd and 24th Dominica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Lucia began reporting heavy showery activity with accumulations over that 12 to 24 hours period recorded at 406 mm in Saint Lucia, 156 mm in Dominica, and 109 mm in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Having triggered their national disaster management plans, the National Emergency Operations Centers in Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica were activated to coordinate their emergency response operations. Damage and Needs Assessment (DANA) Teams were deployed and preliminary impact assessment and immediate needs identified. More detailed damage and sectoral assessments are now being carried out and consolidated needs lists developed.

CDEMA initiated the Regional Coordination Plan and activated elements of the Regional Response Mechanism to provide the operational and logistic support needed to the three impacted states.

NATIONAL REPORTS AND ACTIONS:

St. Vincent and the Grenadines
The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in St Vincent and the Grenadines continue to provide the coordination mechanism for the emergency response, sectoral assessment and the rehabilitation/early recovery in the affected areas. NEMO has circulated seven (7) SITREPS to CDEMA and their regional and international partners. The latest SITREP is available for download here.

Critical Facilities and Infrastructure

A joint PAHO/Ministry of Health team conducted a detailed damage assessment at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH), which was severely impacted by the flooding, and submitted an Initial Needs List.

Several roads and bridges in the impacted areas have broken, washed away or severely undermined. River defenses along most of the rivers have been destroyed.

Roads, Building and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) along with the Ministry of Transport and Works have completed the assessment of the infrastructure and requested Regional Engineering Support to execute the planning for the rehabilitation and recovery phases.

Affected Population

The four (4) “Disaster Areas” declared by the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines with a combined impacted population of 13,029 are still in effect.

Reports confirmed nine (9) persons dead, three (3) persons missing and thirty-seven (37) persons injured. Over five hundred (500) persons were affected of which two hundred and twenty-two (222) are provided with emergency shelter, while two hundred and seventy-eight (278) others are sheltering with family, friends and neighbours. The total number of persons displaced by the event is estimated at 2,325.

Summary of Damage

The Sectoral Damage Assessment estimated that 495 houses damaged/destroyed; over 98 acres of crops damaged; 28 bridges damaged/destroyed; and the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital suffered major losses. The total damage/losses and cost of clean-up operations are estimated at EC $156,032,141.70 (see matrix below):

SER SECTOR DAMAGE (COST $EC)
1 HOUSING 8,311,076.50
2 AGRICULTURE 2,118,69.95
3 WATER 20,000,000
4 INFRASTRUCTURE 125,000,000
5 HEALTH 1,009,195.52
6 CLEAN UP OPERATIONS 1,500,000
TOTAL 156,032,141.70

EOC Status

The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) continues to be partially activated with key agencies and volunteers involved in coordinating the response operations.

National Response

The National Emergency Management Organization continues to coordinate the response to this emergency.

  • Cleanup operations by BRAGSA and Ministry of Transport and Works continue on all major roads. Several minor and feeder roads are still inaccessible.
  • The Initial Damage Assessment Process, using the USAID Initial Damage Assessment (IDA) Methodology has been completed.
  • Social Assessments are continuing.
  • Seven (7) Emergency Shelters have been activated and are housing and feeding 225 persons
  • Relief supplies are being received and continue to be distributed.

Donations

Donations and pledges continue to be given by generous citizens, businesses and CARICOM, regional, and international governments, institutions, businesses, and well-wishers. These include 39 Local organizations, the government of Trinidad & Tobago, the government of Barbados, PAHO, and CDEMA.

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Broadcasting Corporation raised $EC 127,000.00 through a fund raising programme called “Radiothon of Hope and Healing,” on Sunday 5th January.

Outstanding Needs

The outstanding needs list is available for download here.

Saint Lucia

NEMO Saint Lucia has circulated ten (10) Briefing Notes on the “2013 Christmas Trough” to its Cabinet of Ministers and National Emergency Management Advisory Committee (NEMAC). The latest Briefing Note is available for download here.

Affected Population:

There are reports of six (6) confirmed deaths related to the weather system.

The combined population in the four (4) worst impacted areas is 19,982 with an estimate of 1,050 being severely affected.

EOC Status

The National Emergency Operations Centre was de-activated on January 3, 2014. The coordination of the relief supplies, rehabilitation and recovery are being carried out by the NEMO Secretariat.

National Response

  1. The Youth Emergency Action Committee (YEAC) and Saint Lucia Cadet Corps reported for duty. National and District Disaster Committees (DDCs) remain functional but on a reduced level
  2. Ministry of Education shall implement the Return to Happiness program from January 6th – 10th 2014 in the most affected communities:-
  3. Distribution of bottled and bulk water, food, mattresses, hygiene kits and clothes and toys continues.
  4. Communications to Soufriere have been re-established.
  5. Registration of needs of victims by the District Disaster Committees (DDCs) continues.

Donations

NEMO Saint Lucia continues to applaud the numerous donations from members of the public, corporate citizens, regional organizations and from the people and government of Trinidad and Tobago and the people and government of Martinique.

Immediate Needs

Click here for a detailed list of items that are immediately needed for Saint Lucia which includes medical supplies, emergency kit and equipment, water and water storage and distribution resources.

The Commonwealth of Dominica

Dominica continues to engage in mop up operations in the Southern villages (South of Roseau) and in the Roseau Valley, the areas most affected from the effects on the Low Level Trough weather system that affected the Eastern Caribbean Islands on December 24, 2013 (Christmas Eve).

Affected Population:

Reports confirmed that an estimated 106 households in approximately 12 communities including Castle Comfort, Fond Cani, Loubiere, Newton and Pointe Michelle have been affected. Value of loss has been estimated to be in excess of EC $ 585,000.00 See Detail Damage Sheet here (dated 4 Jan 2014) and update report available for download here.

Critical Facilities and Infrastructure

A number of roads and bridges were damaged as a result of the event. The Ministry of Public Works earlier estimate of some 45 Million dollars (EC) will have to be revised as Dominica continues to experience additional rains following the events on the December 24, 2013 that caused subsequent damage to roads and other buildings.

As recent as Sunday January 5, 2014, a house, occupied by a family of three collapsed as a result of the continuous rain and saturated soils; while on Tuesday January 7th a mudslide along the section of road on the E.O Leblanc Highway between the communities of Machoucie and Mero caused damage to a vehicle and its occupants while blocking the road for a few hours.

National Response

Dominica Government agencies were able to respond quickly and adequately to the crisis.
Preliminary sector assessments are being undertaken

Immediate Needs:

The restoration of key infrastructure remains a main concern, and the strengthening of Dominica’s Hydrological /Meteorological capabilities is a priority.

REGIONAL ACTIONS:

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) continues to be in contact with the affected states and is coordinating the response and recovery support for St Vincent & the Grenadines, Saint Lucia and Dominica.

Barbados as the Central Sub-regional focal point/lead in the CDEMA system, made available the Barbados Coast Guard Vessel “Trident” to transport Water and other supplies to both St Vincent & the Grenadines and Saint Lucia. The Trident remains available to transport additional supplies to affected countries when requested.

The Government of Barbados has also agreed to send an “Engineering and Surveying Technical Support Team” to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to provide guidance in their infrastructure rehabilitation and recovery planning. The team is being centrally coordinated through the Association of Professional Engineers in Barbados and is expected to be deployed for two weeks.

The Government and People of Trinidad and Tobago provided two containers of relief supplies valued at approximately US $530,000.00 to St Vincent & the Grenadines on Tuesday 31, December 2013 and two containers of supplies to Saint Lucia valued at approximately US 170,000.00 on December 27th 2013. At Annex D & Annex E are the lists of Relief Supplies that were delivered. A further two shipment of relief supplies are pledged by Trinidad and Tobago to be delivered to Saint Lucia and St Vincent & the Grenadines at a later date. In its capacity as Southern Sub-regional focal point/lead in the CDEMA system, Trinidad & Tobago has also agreed to transport a shipment of mattresses and blankets, pledged by Grenada, to St Vincent & the Grenadines.

Jamaica, the North Western Sub-regional focal point/lead in the CDEMA system has also pledged to make a donation to the affected states.

The Government of Guyana has agreed to provide lumber and cash donation to the affected states. However, these have not been quantified as yet. Additional information on the proposed configuration of houses will assist in the compilation for the shipment of the appropriate lengths.

The Government of Suriname has pledged to provide ten (10) 20 feet Containers with relief supplies for Dominica.

The Eastern Caribbean Development Partners Group for Disaster Management (ECDPG-DM) convened a total of three meetings as a result of the “2013 Christmas Trough”. The third meeting was held on January 3, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. A fourth meeting is scheduled for Friday January 10, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.

CIMH deployed four (4) technical specialists to St Vincent and the Grenadines from Tuesday December 31, 2013 to Friday, January 3, 2014. The technical team collected field data and conducted site visits. An assessment report will be submitted to NEMO, SVG.

The CARICOM Development Fund Emergency Assistance Facility is considering disbursements for all 3 affected PS of initial amounts of US$20K for each of SVG and SLU and US15K for DOM.

The Food and Agricultural Association (FAO) commenced internal discussions for the likelihood of rehabilitation in the agriculture sector in Saint Lucia and St Vincent & the Grenadines. However FAO is awaiting damage assessments reports and formal requests from the impacted states. Each impacted state can request up to USD 400,000 each for each event.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) procured supplies for Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines for cleaning up and immediate needs in the amount of US $37,000.00 and EC $120,000.00 respectfully.

A total of USD 10-20,000 is available through the Department for International Development (DFID), Canada for St Vincent & the Grenadines. CDEMA will be working with impacted states/organizations in order to assist them in accessing the Canada Fund.

The United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) is working with the impacted states to allocate the Emergency Response Grant from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). UNDP has also identified a grant of approximately US $120,000.00 from the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) to assist with the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA).

UNICEF made extensive donations to St Vincent and the Grenadines, including 3,650 water purification tablets, recreation kits, school in box kits, hand sanitizers and adult hygiene kits.   To Saint Lucia, UNICEF also donated similar type supplies including crayon, pencils sets, modeling clay and other items for children affected by the floods.

USAID/OFDA provided US $5,000.00 to the Saint Lucian Red Cross Society and US $ 50,000.00 to the St Vincent & the Grenadines Red Cross Society to support the emergency response in those impacted states.

A Technical Resource Officer from CDEMA has been assigned to the NEOC in St Vincent and the Grenadines for one week to support with the Emergency Operations Centre functions.

The CDEMA CU assisted the three impacted states in developing proposals to access the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Emergency Response Grant facility. The proposals are now being finalized and will be submitted shortly.

CDEMA will continue to monitor the progress in the impacted states and provide updates as necessary.

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

 

Vacancies

CDEMA Annual Reports