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Message: Joaquin strengthens and is expected to reach portions of the Bahamas tonight (September 30th, 2015), and Thursday.

THE SITUATION:
On September 30th, 2015, Hurricane Joaquin became the tenth named hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Effective 8:00AM, a Hurricane Warning is in effect for Central Bahamas including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island and Rum Cay. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Northwestern Bahamas including the Abacos, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthra, Grand Bahama Island and New Providence, but excluding Andros Island.

 

At 2:00 p.m this afternoon (September 30th 2015) the centre of Hurricane Joaquin was located near latitude 24.4 North and longitude 72.9 West, or about 190 miles East Northeast of the Central Bahamas. Maximum sustained winds are near 85 mph with higher gusts. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 125 miles. The system is moving toward the southwest near 6 mph and a west-southwest or southwest motion is expected to continue through tonight.

PROGNOSIS:
According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, a turn toward the northwest and a decrease in forward speed are forecast Thursday or Thursday night.

WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected to reach portions of the central Bahamas by Thursday morning, and northwestern Bahamas by early on Friday. Winds are expected to first reach tropical storm strength in the warning area tonight.

STORM SURGE: A dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels in areas of onshore flow. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves.

RAINFALL: Joaquin is expected to produce 5 to 10 inches of rain over much of Central Bahamas, with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches possible over Rum Cay through Friday night, with 3 – 5 inches possible over the southeastern Bahamas throught Friday night, and 2 to 4 inches expected over the northwestern Bahamas.

SURF: Swells generated by Joaquin will affect portions of the Bahamas during the next few days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

NATIONAL ACTIONS:

The CDEMA Coordinating Unit is in contact with the National Disaster Offices across the region and they are currently monitoring the system.

Bahamas
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has reported the following:

  • As at 9:00am on Wednesday, September 30th, the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) has been partially activated, and full activation is expected later today.
  • All administrators on the Family Islands within the Warning and Watch areas have been contacted and are in a state of readiness, with preparations made to open shelters at 6:00pm today.
  • Some islands have already provided initial reports of flooding and storm surge impacts from the hurricane, and persons in low lying areas have been urged to move to safer locations.
  • A press briefing will be held at 4:00pm.

REGIONAL ACTIONS:

The Regional Response Mechanism has been placed on alert; this includes CDEMA Participating States, the CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU); CARICOM Operational Support Team (COST), and the CARICOM Disaster and Assessment Coordination Team (CDAC).

The CDEMA Coordinating Unit has received a briefing today from the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) on the status of the system and an outlook for the next 48 hours. It should be noted that CIMH is not a forecasting agency but provides these briefings to the CDEMA CU to facilitate scenario planning at the regional and national levels.

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

The public is advised to

  • Monitor radio or television and other official sources of information for progress reports
  • Update your personal family preparedness plan and action items according to that plan
  • The website www.weready.org provides additional information

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

 

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