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Message: Damage assessment ongoing in Dominica. Response priorities continue to focus on search, rescue and recovery and getting relief supplies to victims.

EVENT:

Tropical Storm Erika became the fifth named storm of this year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season on August 24, 2015. Erika began impacting the CDEMA Participating States from Wednesday, August 26 and degenerated to a trough of low pressure on Saturday, August 29, 2015.

 

The Canefield Airport near the capital of Roseau, Dominica, recorded 12.64 inches of rain in a 12-hour period from Erika on Thursday, August 2. This resulted in severe flooding and landslides and wide spread damage across the island. As of August 28, 2015, twenty persons have been confirmed dead and several others are reported missing.

No significant impact has been reported to date following the passage of Erika across the islands of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Haiti, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis and Turks and Caicos.

PROGNOSIS:

The National Hurricane Centre issued the last public advisory on Erika at 9.30 a.m today, Saturday, August 29, 2015 as Erika degenerated to a trough low pressure system. The remnants of Erika are expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 3 to 6 inches with maximum amounts of 10 inches possible across portions of Haiti through Sunday. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.

In addition, rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches are expected across the Turks and Caicos Islands as well as the southeastern and central Bahamas through Sunday. Rainfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches, with locally. Gusts to tropical storm force are expected in squalls over portions of the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas for the next several hours. These conditions are expected to spread into the central Bahamas this afternoon and tonight.

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 12.64 inches of rain in a 12-hour period from Erika on Thursday, August 2015. Heavy rains caused flash flooding which affected most parts of the island.

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.

Additionally, the Government of Dominica has established an account at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to receive contributions in support of its recovery and reconstruction efforts following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika.

The account details are as follows:

United States Dollars (USD)
Federal Reserve Bank (NY)
SWIFT: FRNYUS33
ECCB’s account number at the FED: 021083695
FFC Government of Dominica account 310301005

Damage assessment and needs analysis are ongoing and the preliminary information provided in this report is likely to be modified as the assessment continues.

Communities Affected
Seven of Dominica’s ten parishes have been impacted. Many of the communities are cut off as a result of damaged or destroyed brides and impassable roads. 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

Dead and Missing
As of Friday, August 28th, 2015 the Government of Dominica has confirmed 20 deaths and several are still reportedly missing.

Infrastructure

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

Ports of entry

Melville Hall airports suffered damage and remain closed to commercial flights.
The Canefield airport is operational for helicopter and small aircraft use.

Utilities

Electricity
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.

Water
Some areas are without potable water.

Communications
All FM radio stations are currently operational.

Telephone
Currently communication is only available in some areas and this is limited to cell phones, social media and internet.

Health
Three health Facilities are operational and assessments are ongoing to determine the status of the others.

National Actions

  • The National Emergency Operations Centre remains activated
  • Search and rescue and recovery efforts are ongoing
  • Relief operations are ongoing
  • Damage assessments is ongoing in all sectors
  • Clearing of roads has commenced in some areas.
  • A utilities meeting was held this morning to discuss the situation and determine the priorities and support required in these areas.

Immediate needs
Through the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) support for the immediate needs identified at this time has commenced. These include Emergency Operations Support and search, rescue and recovery efforts.

Additionally, the RRM is also addressing the needs request for civil and geo-technical engineers to support assessment of soil, roads and bridges.

Relief supplies have been requested and these are currently being quantified. This support is especially for persons in the affected interior communities who are presently cut off from other areas.

REGIONAL ACTIONS:

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. The CDEMA Executive Director, Mr. Ronald Jackson led a response mission into Dominica yesterday, Friday August 28, 2015. The team met with the Prime Minister Roosvelt Skerrit and Disaster Management personnel for briefings on the situation and to determine the critical next steps to guide CARICOM support other external assistance as necessary. The CDEMA mission was also part of an aerial reconnaissance which has provided a better picture of the damage to the affected area. Mr. Jackson is expected back in Barbados today, August 29, 2015.

Members of the CDEMA Coordinated CARICOM Operational Support Team (COST) and CARICOM Disaster and Assessment Coordination Team (CDAC) drawn from St. Lucia and Trinidad arrived in Dominica yesterday (Friday, August 28) and will be deployed for one week. The team led by Brigadier General (retired) Earl Arthurs are tasked to support the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) in Emergency Operations, damage assessment and needs quantification process. Additional members of the teams from other CDEMA Participating States are on standby for deployment to strengthen support of those already on the ground.

REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS PLEDGES/SUPPORT

A meeting of the Eastern Caribbean Donor Partner Group for Disaster Management was held at the CDEMA headquarters in Barbados today, Saturday August 29, 2015. Pledges and indication of support follows.

Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) was formally contacted by the Prime Minister of Dominica to access the Emergency Relief Grant. This grant of US$200,000 is to be administered through CDEMA. CDB is in discussion with the Government of Dominica on other medium term assistance CARICOM Development Fund has stated that a US$20,000 grant is available for support and could be mobilised based on needs identified.

Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) will provide Hydrologists to undertake hydrological assessments and technicians to assist the Meteorology Office in repairs to the Meteorology station at Melville Hall which was damaged. University of the West Indies has committed to provide geo-technical and civil engineers to support assessment of soil, roads and bridges.

Government of Canada has indicated that an expandable purse is available based on the official request and needs identified from Dominica and this will be channelled through IFRC.

European Union has indicated that €300,000 would be made available and this would be based on needs identified from the Government of Dominica. The EU in collaboration with the World Bank will be supporting the Post disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA). They further indicated that technical assistance could also be provided through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

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

The Government of the United Kingdom has indicated £250,000 has been provisionally allocated based on needs identified. The ATPM Vessel is currently available for deployment to Dominica if necessary.

Government of the United States of America has indicated that an emergency grant of US$50,000 is available to support humanitarian assistance. This would require a formal request and would also be based on needs identified from the Government of Dominica. These funds will be channelled through the IFRC.

One USAID/OFDA consultant is on the ground and five additional team members will arrive by August 31 to coordinate and undertake assessments. Additional funds may be made available as determined by the outcome of the assessment.

United Nations Agencies
The International Telecommunications Union is providing communications equipment along with two personnel. The personnel and equipment have arrived in Barbados.

PAHO indicated that a team member who was on the ground in Dominica during the passage of Erika supported the initial assessment of health facilities in the immediate aftermath of the storm. PAHO also responded to the requests of the Ministry of Health through the identification of pathologists and psychological counsellors who are on standby for deployment. Two members of the PAHO disaster response teams were deployed from Barbados and arrived in Dominica today to support the ongoing health sector assessment efforts. PAHO has also provided medical supplies which include pharmaceuticals gloves, syringes, nets, and nebulisers.

UNDP stated that US$100,000 could be made available and this will be informed by the determination of the level of the disaster and needs expressed by Dominica.

UNFPA has indicated that up to US$50,000 could be made available upon request and needs identified. Technical support may be provided for sexual and reproductive health, psychosocial support and counselling. Dignity kits are also available for the women.

UNICEF has indicated that five persons trained in the Return to Happines Programme are on standby in Saint Lucia for deployment if required. These personnel will be working with children. US$50,000 is also available dependent on specified children’s needs. UNICEF has also indicated that they would provide education kits to support the start of schools as well as psychsocial support for children.

Stocks of water purification tablets, oral rehydration salts, hygiene kits (baby and adults), and five lightweight tents (72 square meters) are ready for shipping to Dominica and additional stocks could be made available through the Panama office if necessary.

UNOCHA has indicated that the Under-Secretary General of the United Nations has offered humanitarian assistance to the Government of Dominica.

UN Women offered support in the areas of psychological challenges, support for violence against women and gender experts as necessary.

World Bank stated that the Government of Dominica has written to the World Band to access the DVRP crisis window which could make US$1 million available. The World Bank also indicated support for the Post disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA).

Other Pledges/Support by CDEMA Participating States

Antigua and Barbuda: Two (six member person) Search and Rescue Teams are to be deployed by tomorrow, Sunday, August 30.

Barbados: Government of Barbados has mobilized a Coast Guard Vessel for immediate deployment. Military personnel and search and rescue teams are on standby for immediate deployment. They have also indicated that they have provided support to PAHO. The Barbados Chamber of Commerce has initated a drive to collect donations for Dominica and public pledges have been made.

Montserrat: Personnel from the Police and Fire Services and Cadets are also on standby for deployment. Technical Emergency Operations support from Montserrat is also being deployed to Dominica.

Saint Lucia: Personnel from the Polices and Fire Services have been deployed. Transportation was also provided for Dominica Chief Medical Officers and two PAHO persons. St Lucia has also been facilitating the air-bridge to Dominica

Trinidad and Tobago: Two helicopters have been provided for 116 hours of aircraft flying time.

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