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HIGHLIGHTS:

  • All clear issued for The Bahamas
  • CDEMA initiates arrangements for three Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment Teams to the Bahamas.
  • Relief supplies dispatched to the Southern Bahamas
  • Joaquin expected to produce additional rainfall over the Bahamas, eastern Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos Islands today.
  • Damage assessment process ongoing for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

THE SITUATION: 
On September 30th, 2015, Hurricane Joaquin became the tenth named hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season. At 2:00 p.m. (October 3rd, 2015), the centre of Hurricane Joaquin was located near latitude 26.4 North and longitude 70.9 West, about 550 miles Southwest of Bermuda. Data indicates that the maximum sustained winds are near 155 mph (250 km/h) with higher gusts. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 205 miles. Some slow weakening is forecast later today.

PROGNOSIS:
According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Joaquin is now moving toward the northeast near 18 mph (30 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through tonight. A turn toward the north-northeast is forecast on Sunday. On the forecast track, the core of the strongest winds of Joaquin will pass west of Bermuda on Sunday; however a small deviation to the east of the forecast track would bring the core of the hurricane and stronger winds closer to Bermuda.

WIND:
Tropical Storm conditions are expected to reach Bermuda by Sunday morning with hurricane conditions possible by Sunday afternoon.

RAINFALL:
Joaquin is expected to produce additional rain accumulations of 2 to 5 inches over the Bahamas, eastern Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the Turks and Caicos Islands through today. Isolated maximum storm-total amounts of 25 inches are possible in the central Bahamas.

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

The Bahamas
IMPACTS

DAMAGE ASSESSMENT AND NEEDS ANALYSIS
Damage assessment and needs analysis (DANA) are ongoing. Data is currently being collated at the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC). An aerial reconnaissance will be undertaken today.

  • Shelters: A total of 178 government sanctioned emergency shelters were available nationwide, 10 islands activated and total of 271 persons attended.

  • Power and communications: Exist in remaining family islands which have not reported any significant damages or service interruptions.

  • The Department of Water and Sewerage: Issued public notice precaution and storage of sufficient potable water to meet needs for several days and on potential contamination of private water wells by flooding, drainage, and seawater.

  • The Department of Public Health: Engaged in airlifting of an individual who is bed ridden, suffers from uncontrolled diabetic with dehydration, R/O pneumonia, and infected ulcer out of Lower Bogue, Eleuthera Island. Four persons stranded in Crooked Island with limited amount of insulin. Rum Cay Clinic has a shortage of analgesic.

  • Social Impact: Diminishing food, water and other supplies on family islands due to interference of routine mail boat services until the All Clear is given.

  • Economic Impact: Guide fishing, surrey rides and other tourist related activities particularly in remote Family Islands and cays immensely affected by the passage of Hurricane Joaquin.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has provided the following initial report based on the collaborative efforts between the National Disaster Committee (NDC) and Family Islands Disaster Consultative Committees and The Bahamas Information Services.

  • Rum Cay: Structural damages to an emergency shelter prompted immediate evacuation and relocation of 32 shelterees. Reports of severe flooding, downed trees, impassable roads, downed power lines and poles, full power outage. Government dock reportedly destroyed and caving in of roofs on dwelling homes. Airport flooded.

  • Acklins Island: Significant flooding in Delectable Bay, Snug Corner in the North and Mason’s Bay. Five houses were destroyed in Mason’s Bay and four in Snug Corner. Power outages, no injuries reported and all residents accounted for.

  • Crooked Island and Long Cay: Initially communications was down. Upon partial restoration there was an indication revealed roof leaks in Government Clinic in Crooked Island.

  • Long Island: Power outage due to downed lines; flooding of private fresh water wells; structural damages to homes; extreme flooding of approximately 4 feet of water in the Northern part of the island. Police station evacuated because of flooding.

  • San Salvador: Flooding throughout the island; downed power lines and poles; roads impassable; 130 persons reported to shelters, one of which had its roof and door blown off. Resulted in relocation of persons within the in same facility. Communications a challenge.

  • Mayaguana: Communication link exists but efforts continue to establish full capability. Minor damages to home structures other than loss of roofing shingles.

  • Exuma: power lines down and extreme flooding.

INITIAL NEEDS
NEMA has indicated a need for the following initial assistance for limited island districts. Need quantification will be informed by the damage assessment process:

  • Food

  • Water

  • Emergency shelter

  • Aerial Reconnaissance

  • Damage Assessment support in the South and Central Islands of the Bahamas

  • Electricity Restoration

  • Water and Sewerage restoration

NATIONAL ACTIONS
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) and the National Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan remain activated.

The Cabinet of The Bahamas convened a meeting on October 2nd, 2015 to share information on a National Strategic Action Plan of response to the impact of Joaquin on the islands of The Bahamas upon issuance of the All Clear.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the National Disaster Committee (NDC) conducted two exclusive press briefings in collaboration with The Prime Minister and Cabinet Officers. The National Initial Situation Overview (ISO) is scheduled to be conducted on October 3rd, 2015 and will be facilitated by the US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. The ISO will comprise senior representatives of relevant government and non-governmental agencies.

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Operations Department has impact teams and ships on standby for deployment upon issuance of the all clear.

Family Island Disaster Consultative Committees remain on standby for the All Clear issuance before commencing the ISO, and Initial Damage Assessments on the ground exercises.

Turks and Caicos Islands
The Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies has reported that damage assessments are ongoing.

REGIONAL ACTIONS
The Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) remains activated. Regional response actions have been undertaken in accordance with the Regional Coordination Plan and the CDEMA Operational Plan for Hurricane Joaquin.

Based on a request from the Government of The Bahamas, the CDEMA system Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment efforts will be targeted to Acklins Island, Crooked Island and Long Island. The CDEMA CU had pre-identified and placed on standby three teams to support the Bahamas in an assessment of rapid needs. These teams are scheduled to be deployed on October 5th, 2015 to Nassau. The skills set for each team include a team leader, response coordination assessment and information management, housing assessment, coastal zone assessment, critical facilities and infrastructure assessment and water, sanitation and housing.

Each team will be led by CDEMA and supported by representatives from the following CDEMA Participating States and other Regional and International agencies have been confirmed:

  • Barbados

  • Jamaica

  • Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)

  • Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO)

  • United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)

Through the support of the CDEMA North Western Sub-Regional focal point - Jamaica and the Government of the United Kingdom, The West Indies Guard Ship departed Kingston, Jamaica at 4:45PM today October 3, 2015 to deliver the following emergency supplies to the three islands previously identified for assistance (Acklins Island, Crooked Island and Mayaguana.

  • 14,000 lbs of cereal products and 85 cases of pasta

  • 1,260 cans of canned meat and vegetables

  • 3000 bottles of water

  • 200 cases of tarpaulins

  • 102 Blankets

Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH)
The Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) provided briefings to the CDEMA Coordinating Unit (CU) on the status of the system and this information was used to refine the operational scenarios of the CDEMA CU. It should be noted that CIMH is not a forecasting agency but provided these briefings to the CDEMA CU to facilitate scenario planning at the regional and national levels.

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 RRM is coordinated by CDEMA through the Regional Coordination Centre in Barbados, and is an arrangement for the coordination of disaster response among CDEMA Participating States, and Regional and International Agencies including the CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU); CARICOM Operational Support Team (COST), and the CARICOM Disaster and Assessment Coordination Team (CDAC).

The Sub-Regional Disaster Emergency Response Operational Units are located within the National Disaster Offices and support the CDEMA’s response coordination to affected countries within their respective groupings.

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

 

Vacancies

CDEMA Annual Reports