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Message: Search and Rescue continues and Damage Assessments commence in Dominica. Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for Haiti, Southeastern and Central Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands. A Tropical Storm Watch remains in effect for Northwestern Bahamas.

EVENT:

Dominica, a CDEMA Participating State, has been severely affected by heavy rains as a result of the passage of Tropical Storm Erika on August 27, 2015. Several persons have been reported dead or missing and there has been major damage to infrastructure and utilities in many communities.

 

No significant damage was reported by Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Virgin Islands (British), Montserrat and St. Kitts and Nevis following the passage of Erika. Erica is now moving towards three other CDEMA States, Haiti, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahamas.

At 2:00 p.m. Friday, August 28, 2015, the centre of Tropical Storm Erika was located near latitude 17.7 North, longitude 70.2 West, and approximately 50 miles southwest of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and 305 miles southeast of Great Inagua Island. Some weakening is forecast this afternoon and tonight as Erika moves over land. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 150 miles to the east of the centre. The system is moving toward the west near 18mph and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 48 hours.

PROGNOSIS:

Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread across Haiti today, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas later today and tonight, and the central Bahamas on Saturday. Tropical Storm conditions are possible in the northwestern Bahamas by Saturday night.

Erika is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 3 to 6 inches with maximum amounts of 10 inches possible across portions of the Haiti, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the southeastern and central Bahamas through Saturday. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.

Dominica
Impact

The centre of Tropical Storm Erika passed about 90 miles to the North of Dominica at its nearest point with the storm producing intense rainfall across the island. The Canefield station recorded nine inches of rainfall from 3am to 8am on Thursday August 27, 2015. Heavy rains caused flash flooding which affected most parts of the island. Several persons have been reported dead or missing and there has been major damage to infrastructure and many communities.

A hotline has been established with the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) and the Dominica Red Cross to offer assistance to persons seeking information on family members. The number is 1 (767) 448-8280.

Seven of Dominica’s ten parishes have been impacted. The parishes and communities most impacted include:

  • St. Patrick – Petite Savanne, Delices, Dubic, Pichelin, La Plaine
  • St. David – Good Hope
  • St. George (City of Roseau) - Bath Estate, Fond Cole, Newtown, Roseau Valley
  • St. Paul - Campbell
  • St. Joseph – Coulibistrie
  • St. Andrew - Marigot, Melville Hall
  • St. John – Portsmouth

Casualties

As of Friday August 28th, 2015 the Government of Dominica has reported 4 confirmed deaths and 31 missing.

Infrastructure

  • Communications have been significantly hampered
  • Major damage to roadways and bridges has resulted in communities being cut off

Ports of entry

Both Cane field and Melville Hall airports suffered damage and remain closed.

Utilities

Dominica Electricity Services has reported that the North and South Feeder are damaged which has affected the entire northern and southern portion of the island.

National Actions

  • The National Emergency Operations Centre has been activated.
  • Search and Rescue activities and response actions to affected communities are ongoing.
  • Damage assessments have commenced

Immediate needs and Priority Actions

Requests at this time are for the following:

  • Technical assistance for evacuation, Search and Rescue, Communication and Damage Assessments.
  • Medical support
  • Heavy equipment
  • Shelter Operations
  • Food and Water

Bahamas

A pre-strike meeting of the National Disaster Office was convened on Friday, August 28th. All administrators on the Family Islands have been contacted and are in a state of readiness. Preparations have also been made to open shelters.

Turks and Caicos Islands

The NEOC is expected to be fully activated on Friday, August 28th. The National Disaster Office has reported that flight operations out of Providenciales, Grand Turk, North Caicos Islands, South Caicos and Salt Cay airports will be suspended beginning Saturday, August 29th.

British Virgin Islands

Initial assessments following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika have been completed. The All Clear was issued and public officers are to report to work for 10:00 a.m. today Friday, 28 August.

Residents have been advised to exercise caution when traversing roadways as there are still some areas affected by debris.

BVI Ports Authority is preparing to resume domestic operations, and assessment teams from the BVI Airports Authority are currently inspecting the various airports across the Territory following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika. Pending a satisfactory outcome of these inspections, a decision will be made regarding the re-opening of airport facilities this morning.

A decision on the resumption of services between the BVI and USVI will be made after consultation with the USVI Port officials.

 

REGIONAL ACTIONS:

1. The Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) remains activated. The RRM is an arrangement for the coordination of disaster response among CDEMA Participating States, and Regional and International Agencies. The RRM is coordinated by CDEMA through the Regional Coordination Centre in Barbados.

2. The CDEMA Executive Director, Mr. Ronald Jackson led a response mission into Dominica today Friday August 28, 2015. The team comprises operational staff from the CDEMA Coordinating Unit and are supported by members of the CDEMA Coordinated CARICOM Operational Support Team (COST), CARICOM Disaster and Assessment Coordination Team (CDAC) drawn from St. Lucia and Trinidad. The operational support team is tasked to support the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) in the damage assessment and needs quantification process and Emergency Operations.

3. The CDEMA CU has received support from the Southern Sub-Region through the provision of air lift of the team into Dominica by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

4. The Eastern Sub-Regional focal point for CDEMA has indicated that the Government of Antigua and Barbuda will provide two Search and Rescue Teams to support the response efforts in Dominica. Airlift support is being facilitated by the Government of France.

5. The Government of Saint Lucia has advised that their Fire and Police Services are on standby to provide assistance following direct request from their counterparts in Dominica.

6. The Government of Montserrat has pledged support from its Police Department to support Search and Rescue efforts.

7. The Government of Barbados’ Fire Service has indicated that eleven (11) search and safety members from the Service are on standby to provide support for Search and Rescue operations.

Regional/international partners are also providing support

8. A meeting of the Eastern Caribbean Donor Partner Group for Disaster Management has been scheduled for Saturday August 29, 2015.

9. PAHO teams are on standby for deployment to assist in hospital assessment and medical services.

10. The International Telecommunications Union is providing communications equipment along with two personnel. Scheduled arrival into the region is Saturday August 29, 2015.

11. UNICEF and UNDP have provided water purification tablets, oral rehydration salts, hygiene kits (baby and adults), and five lightweight tents (72 square meters).

12. The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) held its daily briefing with the CDEMA Coordinating Unit on the status of Tropical Storm Erica and outlook for the next 48 hours. The briefing was attended by CDEMA CU Staff and Participating States. Also discussed was the projected forecast for later today and tonight. It should be noted that CIMH is not a forecasting agency and the information provided is being used to inform response actions at national and regional levels.

Pledges made by CDEMA Participating States and Regional/International Partners

13. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has pledged 116 hours of airlift support.

14. University of the West Indies has pledged support to the damage assessment efforts in Dominica and has placed engineers on standby.

15. The Government of France has pledged 10hrs of airlift support to Dominica.

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

CONTACT DETAILS: The CDEMA CU 24-hour contact number 1(246) 434-4880

 

Vacancies

CDEMA Annual Reports