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HIGHLIGHTS:

  • CDEMA Executive Director holds high level consultations in Nassau
  • CDEMA RNAT arrives in Nassau and deployed to affected family Islands
  • Initial reports from Rapid Damage and Needs Assessments Teams for Crooked Island and Long Island received.

THE SITUATION:
On September 30th, 2015, Hurricane Joaquin became the tenth named hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season which affected the southern and central Islands of the Bahamas.

The Bahamas

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

The following are the reports received from the NEOC and two (2) of the three (3) Rapid Disaster and Needs Assessment Teams deployed to Crooked Island and Long Island respectively.

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). Additionally manpower is being sent in to assist with repairs and additional materials are being shipped to the impacted islands. NEMA has provided the following initial reports based on the collaborative efforts between the National Disaster Committees (NDC), Family Islands Disaster Consultative Committees, The Bahamas Information Services and the RNATs.

Crooked Island:

  • There is no water, electricity or cellular communications

  • Movement from the East to the West of the Island is constrained by a wide settlement of water 3-4 feet deep, passable by large trucks ONLY.

  • All houses in the areas assessed to date on the Eastern side of the island have severe roof damage

  • RFA Lyme Bay provided a quantity of plastic sheeting to the island on October 6, 2015

  • The Primary school in the area severely damaged

  • Air strip is operable. Bahamas Air landed October 7, 2015 AM

  • Main port is inoperable

PAHO undertook an assessment on October 6, 2015 and reported:

  • There have been zero deaths on Crooked Island.

  • The clinic was utilized as a temporary shelter for at least 20 persons following the impact of Hurricane Joaquin.

  • The Satellite clinic at Colonel Hill has been destroyed.

  • Water is heavily contaminated with fecal matter due to seepage from septic tanks

  • Water from wells is not suitable for drinking

  • Many breeding sites for vectors have been observed in open water cisterns, water storage tanks and in marsh areas

  • Satellite tower collapsed across part of the clinic compound.

Long Island:

  • Northern part of the island received minimal damage. Aerial reconnaissance of the area confirmed this as there was still evidence of flooding and roof damage.

  • Potable water available on island

  • Medication has been mobilized through NGOs including Happy Company “Ports International Ltd” to most affected islands.

  • Long Island was impacted by 18ft storm surge. The island remains inundated with 4ft to 6ft of water over approximately 2/3 of its land mass.

Physical infrastructure such as:

  • Marina – was severely damaged, inclusive of berthing facilities

  • Coastal roads – impassible due to flooding and debris

  • Coastal vegetation, inclusive of mangroves, and other native vegetation at considerable distance inland were severely damaged by storm surge and wind-shear.

  • Rum Cay: Poles and lines are down.

  • Acklins Island: Extensive flooding and home damage has been reported. The water distribution system is being brought back online in stages. Poles and power lines are down. Some repairs have begun. Access is limited due to flooding.

  • San Salvador: Cell Sites are now functional. Poles and lines are down. Some repairs are underway. Power station roof damaged and generators need to be dried out and tested.

The following Islands suffered no major impacts, and water supplies are being maintained as usual:
Abaco, Andros, Eleuthera, Ragged Island, Bimini, Berry Islands, Mayaguana.

INITIAL NEEDS (specifications and quantities being finalized)
The following needs have been identified by NEMA:

Acklins Island:

  • Back-up power

  • Bottled water

Crooked Island:

  • Bottled water

  • Housing: Plywood, plastic sheeting, tarpaulin

  • Fuel: Diesel and gasoline

  • Ground transportation

  • Communications: VHF and HF Radios; satellite phones to facilitate communication with NEMA EOC

  • Diesel manual pumps and storage drums

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.

CDEMA deployed RNATs in response to a request from NEMA, Bahamas following the passage of Hurricane Joaquin. The RNATs were deployed to Long Island, Crooked Island and Acklins Island on Monday, October 5th 2015 to support the efforts of NEMA. Each team is being led by CDEMA and supported by representatives from the following CDEMA Participating States and other Regional and International agencies:

  • Barbados

  • Jamaica

  • Virgin Islands (British)

  • Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)

  • Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO)

  • Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

  • The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Canada

The RNAT deployed to Crooked Island has completed assessment on the eastern side of the island and anticipates completion of work by end of day Oct 7, 2015. The RNAT deployed to Long Island will perform assessments in the Southern zone on October 7th with the support of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and a resident of Long Island. Assessment by the RNAT on Acklins Island is underway.

In support of regional efforts, the Government of the United Kingdom has continued support through the RFA Lyme Bay in the areas of damage assessment and distribution of relief supplies to Acklins Island,Crooked Island and Mayaguana. RFA Lyme Bay provided support to Crooked Islands Oct 6, 2015 including through the Lynx helicopter. Lyme Bay will support Acklins Island on Oct 7, 2015.

Relief supplies were sourced through the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Jamaica (the North Western Sub-Regional Disaster Emergency Response Operational Unit of the CDEMA System).

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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