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Message: At 12:00 p.m. today (August 2nd 2016) Tropical Storm Earl became the fifth named storm of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

THE SITUATION:
At 2:00 p.m. (EDT) the center of Tropical Storm Earl was located near latitude 16.3 North and longitude80.8 West or about 210 miles (340km) South of Grand Cayman. Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph (85km/h). Tropical storm strength winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km). The system is moving toward the west at 22 mph (35 km/h). This motion is expected to continue over the next 48 hours with some decrease in forward speed.

 

PROGNOSIS:
The Government of Belize has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the entire country of Belize, and a Hurricane Watch for the entire country. The Tropical Storm Watch for the Cayman Islands has been
discontinued.

NATIONAL ACTIONS:
The CDEMA Coordinating Unit is in contact with the National Disaster Offices across the region and they are currently monitoring the system. The Meteorological Services of Belize have projected that TS Earl could produce rainfall accumulation of 8-12 inches over Belize. These rains could cause flash floods and mud slides especially over higher terrain. For coastal areas, there is also a risk for flooding, especially in low lying areas. According to the National Hurricane Centre in Miami, a storm surge could raise water levels by as much as 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels along the coast of Belize. It is also anticipated that the projected path of the system will impact in areas where there are a number of densely populated, poorer communities. All marine interests should be concerned about high swells and all small crafts have been advised to remain in safe harbour.

Belize has placed the full national emergency response system on alert for impact. An HCC has been set up as well a National Task Force that will oversee Damage Assessments and Needs Analysis (DANA), relief operations and early recovery actions such as repairs and replacement of utilities, and structures.

In Belize the National Emergency Management Organization has indicated that

  • All national and district committees are activated and enacting emergency procedures.
  • Evacuation procedures for persons in coastal areas are beginning
  • Shelters and Shelter Management teams are being prepared
  • Other emergency actions are ongoing

Prior to upgrading to TS Earl, this system passed to the south of Jamaica and Haiti. In anticipation of any potential impacts the following actions were taken yesterday by both countries:

Haiti:
The National Meteorological Center alert level was raised to RED on 1 Aug 2016. The Civil Protection Office in Haiti, at Central level ensured that the RED ALERT was disseminated to the Minister of Interior and to all other entities that are members of the Disaster Risk Management Coordination system including all Ten (10) Civil Protection Coordination Departments and at the municipal level. The RED ALERT was also disseminated to the public through social media. The Central Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and the local level Departmental EOCs were activated.

Jamaica
Briefings were held with Meteorological Services and other agencies of the national emergency response system on at 10:30 a.m. on 1 August 2016. A national public briefing was held later in the day at 2:00 p.m. and was lead by the ministers responsible for disaster risk management and for information. The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) was activated at 8:00 p.m. (Jamaica time) yesterday. All parish-level EOCs were placed on alert as well as other elements of the national emergency response system (shelter managers etc.) and were expected to be activated by this morning (2 August 2016). As of 1:00 pm (Jamaica- 2:00 p.m. EDT) the Government of Jamaica had retained the Tropical Storm Warning for the country. The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) in Jamaica will issue a Situation Report this evening.

REGIONAL ACTIONS:
CDEMA will continue to monitor the system and provide updates as is necessary. The Regional Response Mechanism has been placed on alert. Other partner agencies are also monitoring closely including the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the World Food Program (WFP). The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH is providing regular updates and analyses on the 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

Click here for Tropical Storm and Hurricane Safety tips.

 

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