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Message: Hurricane Matthew remains a powerful Category 4 hurricane moving in a north-western direction over the Caribbean Sea. Hurricane warnings have been issued for Jamaica and Haiti. A hurricane watch is in effect for Southeastern Bahamas, including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, Ragged Island, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the Dominican Republic from Barahona westward to the border with Haiti. Interests in The Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands should continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Matthew.

EVENT:
Hurricane Matthew, the 5th named hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season, was formed near the Windward Islands on September 28, 2016. As a Tropical Storm, Matthew impacted Barbados, Dominica, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Wednesday September 28, 2016.

On Sunday, October 2, 2016 at 5: 00 PM EDT (2100 UTC), Hurricane Matthew was located near latitude 14.6o North, longitude 74.8o West, and approximately 350 miles (565km) SSW of Port-au-Prince, Haiti and approximately 310 miles (505km) SSE of Kingston, Jamaica.

PROGNOSIS:
Reports from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicated that maximum sustained winds are near 145 mph (233 km/h) with higher gusts. The vertical shear is not forecast to become much stronger while Matthew is in the Caribbean, so the hurricane should remain near category 4 status for the next 36-48 hours. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles (335 km). Matthew is forecast to produce in excess of 300 mm (11 inches) of rainfall, the higher amounts of which is expected to precipitate over Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Hurricane Matthew is moving toward the west near 5 mph (8 km/h) and a turn toward the north is forecast for Monday. The center of Matthew will approach the south-western tip of Haiti on Monday.

NATIONAL ACTIONS:
North Western-Caribbean Participating States
The CDEMA CU is in contact with the National Disaster Offices (NDOs) of Bahamas, Jamaica, Haiti and Turks and Caicos Islands regarding their preparations for the impact from Hurricane Matthew. The Governments of these countries have been briefed, they have commenced pre-strike meetings and will continue to monitor the system.

Haiti
The National Emergency Operational Center (NEOC) in Haiti was fully activated on Saturday, October 1st by the Civil Protection Directorate. The Emergency Operational Centers in the 10 departments of the country are partially activated and Mayors who are the head of Civil Protection at the Municipal level have been informed of the situation regarding Hurricane Matthew. The National Meteorological Center continues to monitor the situation and has been providing constant updates to the Civil Protection Department and the Press.

Radio communication tests have been undertaken between the NEOC and the EOC in the departments and the Shelter Team/Evacuation Coordination Unit is on standby. Two islands in the southern region (Ilet a Brouee and Caille a l'eau) have been evacuated. At a press conference on Saturday 1st October, 2016 the NEOC officially launched a Red Alert.

Jamaica
The National Hurricane Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) has been invoked along with preparatory activates. The National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) has been activated along with the Parish EOCs. ODPEM continues to hold pre-strike meetings with its stakeholders as updated information of the hurricane become available. The Jamaican Defense Force (JDF) is on standby. Prepositioning of relief supplies and emergency resources has commenced and a number of agencies have stood up their EOCs. ODPEM has had discussions with the CDEMA CU Executive Director on possible support from the Regional Response Mechanism, should that need arise.

Turks and Caicos
All response agencies have been placed on alert. The Governor and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office have been briefed on the situation. All district commissioners have been placed on alert. Another pre-strike meeting is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. Monday 3rd October, 2016. The Department of Disaster Management and Emergences (DDME) continues to monitor the situation and update their operational plans.

Bahamas
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Bahamas has held pre-strike meetings with its stakeholders. NEMA is working closely with the National Meteorological Services to monitor the situation and update their operational plans.

Eastern-Caribbean Participating States
The island states impacted by the passing of Tropical Storm Matthew; Barbados, Dominica and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines and Saint Lucia; have deactivated their NEOCs, however damage assessments continue within the impacted sectors.

REGIONAL ACTIONS:
The Regional Coordination Plan (RCP) remains activated and the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) continues to be on standby. The CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU), the CARICOM Disaster Assessment and Coordination (CDAC) team, the Rapid Needs Analysis Teams (RNAT) and CARICOM Operational Support Team (COST) remain on alert for the impending threat of Hurricane Matthew on the North Western Caribbean.

The CDEMA CU has initiated the following actions:

  • Maintained regular contact with threatened Participating States (Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica and Turks & Caicos Islands)
  • Updated and shared an Operational Scenario and Plan for ‘Hurricane Matthew’ for States threatened in the North Western Caribbean. Preliminary impact assessments based on current population data and project/actual impact were presented for the North Western PSs.
  • Conducted a briefing on Sunday, October 2, 2016 with the RRM partners in the North-Western region. Another briefing to be conducted on Monday, October 3rd , 2016
  • Regional response teams are on alert - CDRU, CDAC, COST and RNAT.
  • Discussion with the Sub-Regional Focal Points (SRFPs); Trinidad and Tobago - SRFP (Southern), Barbados – SRFP (Central) and Antigua - SRFP (Eastern) on potential initial support: Sea assets, human resources for deployment - Security; SAR; Regional Warehouse stocks and initial dispatch of humanitarian aid;
  • Discussions with regional and international partners on potential areas of support to any impacted Participating State.

Partners in the North-Western Caribbean have initiated the following actions:

  • International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) has activated its Contingency Plan, pre-positioned staff and placed its regional and global response teams on alert.
  • Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has deployed its United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) members to Jamaica and Haiti.
  • Regional Security System (RSS) has made contact with Military and Police Chiefs. The CARICOM Battalion and the RSS Airwing remain on alert.
  • The Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) has 3 persons on the ground in Jamaica; 3 persons to be deployed to the Bahamas today (Sunday, October 2nd) and three additional persons on standby to support public health and medical needs.
  • World Food Programme (WFP) has activated measures for preparedness.
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID) / Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) has strengthened its representation in Bahamas, and Jamaica and has a team in Haiti. OFDA has also confirmed its arrangements for providing support to the RRM through aerial reconnaissance.
  • European Commission Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) is actively monitoring the system and is prepared and ready for deployment.
  • The British Guard Ship, RFA Wave Knight, is standing ready to support the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) should the need arise. The ship is manned with a well abled crew and resources to facilitate response and relief efforts. Should TCI, or any of the other British Overseas Territories not require the assistance of the Guard Ship, their response and relief efforts will be made available to an impacted PS upon request.

CDEMA continues to monitor the system and provide updates as necessary.

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

 

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