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Message: Hurricane Matthew, a powerful Category 4 Hurricane impacted Jamaica and Haiti on Monday, 3rd October, 2016 and The Commonwealth of the Bahamas during 4th - 6th October, 2016. The CDEMA Regional Coordination Plan remains activated to assist our Participating States.

EVENT:
Hurricane Matthew, the 5th named hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season, 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. As a hurricane, it impacted Jamaica and Haiti on Monday, 3rd October, 2016 and The Commonwealth of the Bahamas during 4th - 6th October, 2016.

PROGNOSIS:
The Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) provided a weather briefing on Sunday, October 9th, 2016 to CDEMA and other regional and international partners. Analysis indicates that no further immediate threat is posed to these countries from Post-Tropical Cyclone Matthew.

NATIONAL ACTIONS:
North Western-Caribbean Participating States
The CDEMA CU maintains in contact with the National Disaster Offices (NDO) of Haiti and The Commonwealth of The Bahamas regarding response to the impact from Hurricane Matthew.

(Note: CDEMA CU Situation Reports present official data as issued by the National Emergency Operations Centre of an affected State. Data and information presented by the press, social media and other unofficial sources may differ.)

Haiti
The NEOC reports (Damage and Injury Report as of 11th October 2016 at 12:00PM) that the following initial impacts have been confirmed:

  • Areas Affected: Three (3) of the 10 departments were mostly affected, in particular; Grand'Anse, Nippes and Sud (South). Significant impacts have been reported in the department of Sud, specifically the Les Cayes borough and in the Grand'Anse department, specifically the Jérémie borough.
  • Dead: 473 (confirmed). These numbers are expected to increase as assessments continue.
  • Missing: 75
  • Injured: 339
  • People evacuated and in shelter: 175,509 in 4 Departments –Grand Anse (99,400), Nippes (7,866), Ouest (3,877) and Sud (64,366)
  • People sheltering with friends and family: 589
  • Shelters opened: 224
  • Flooded houses: 2,381
  • Houses highly damaged: 25,160
  • Houses destroyed: 500
  • Family affected: 115,000
  • Health institutions affected: 2
  • Schools affected: 178
  • Telecommunications: Severely damaged or destroyed. No cell phone access.
  • Roads and Bridges damaged: roads damaged in Gonaives, Terre-Neuve, Miragoane, Mombin Crochu, Vallieres, Fond-Verrettes, Petit-Goâve, Anglais, Maniche, Torbeck, Cayes-Jacmel
  • Agriculture: This sector has been highly impacted

Updates on Situation

CARICOM Operational Support Team (COST)
The COST team led by Brigadier General (Ret’d) Earl Arthurs arrived in Haiti on Saturday, October 8th 2016. They reported to the Civil Protection Directorate (CPD) and received a briefing from the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC). The COST is stationed in Les Cayes and are tasked with strengthening two (2) departmental EOCs in (i) Jeremie, (in Grande Anse) and (ii) Les Cayes, (in the South). To date the team has completed the evaluation of the main Les Cayes EOC site and established internet at the site.

Les Cayes

  • The Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) personnel are scheduled arrive on Tuesday, October 11.

General Situation

  • There are five (5) communities for which there is no information. As a result, the numbers in the Damage and Injury Report may change.

Needs
The NEOC has begun the compilation of figures for the Needs List. The preliminary needs identified include: Water, Tarpaulin, Hygiene Kits, Water Purification Tablets, Vector Control, Bleach and Medicines. Priorities for the Government remain the distribution of water, food and drugs to people in temporary shelters and communities. The restoration of roads and communications are also a Government priority. Damage assessment and needs analysis (DANA) are ongoing.

An assessment of the needs of radio room revealed the following are required:

  • one repeater to enhance the radio system
  • 15 handsets (Motorola 350)
  • 20 handheld radio antennas
  • 1 HF handset
  • SIM card for SAT Phone
  • SIM card for a BGAN
  • 2nd BGAN

The Bahamas

Rapid Needs Assessment Team (RNAT)

A 29 member RNAT has been deployed to the three most affected islands in The Bahamas. The team is divided into three functional groups to support the national disaster management system in these impacted islands as follows:

  • Team 1 – New Providence
  • Team 2 – Andros
  • Team 3 – Grand Bahama

Assessment of New Providence
Team 1 (New Providence) conducted the rapid needs assessment on New Providence. Several areas in Southern New Providence were visited and assessed. The following is a summary of the assessment conducted to date:

Sea Breeze District
Seagull Drive off Yamacrav Hill Road

  • Majority of the buildings were reported to have been flooded
  • Roads were flooded but no damage noted, all roads were accessible
  • Some sewage concerns observed

Yamacrave Shores Subdivision

  • The majority of the buildings were reported to have been flooded. Minor road flooding, but all accessible

Lumumba Rd/ Sea Breeze Boulevard

  • There were three blocks of houses that were reported to have been severely flooded
  • Flood water was noted to be covering the road and nearby properties
  • There were a lot of fallen trees noted and some had fallen on electrical lines which disconnected these lines from the power grid
  • Roads were accessible

Assessment of Andros Island

Communications
The Bahamian Telecommunication Company (BTC) deployed a six (6) person crew to assess and commenced restoration of telecommunications on the island. There (3) main cell towers are damaged including the main one in Nicholls Town. Priority is to repair the tower at Nicholls Town. Intermittent cell service is available in certain areas from New Providence.

Critical Infrastructure

  • The airport specialist was able to complete his assessment of the San Andros Airport.
  • The hardest hit local infrastructure is the electrical network. A vast number of electrical poles are down with broken electrical lines.
  • There are a number of fallen trees, which caused significant damage to the electrical network; private and public property and caused extensive blockage of roadways.
  • The Pumping Station facility in Nickels and the well fields at Mastic Point West Field, Red Bays Red Field, Fresh Creek, Love Hill and Bearing Point remain intact. Generators are being installed at the well fields to facilitate the pumping of water into the reservoir.
  • Currently the water pump system continues to function however; the water distribution pipe network is broken in many areas resulting in a number of households without running water. Temporary water pipes have been erected at the pumping station for persons seeking portable water.
  • Most roads are passable and work continues to repair the utility distribution networks and clear the roadways of debris.

Agriculture & Fisheries

  • There is clear evidence that livelihoods of fisher folk and persons working in the agricultural sector have been heavily impacted. Boat damage from storm surge was observed. Further assessment will be required to provide more details on the impact to the sector.

Education

  • All schools in North Andros remain closed till further notice. There is one (1) central High School and six (6) Primary Schools. A number of the schools suffered extensive damage, primarily due to storm surge and flooding.

Relief Supplies

  • Relief distribution is currently ongoing. A relief staging area has been established at the community centre in the North of the island. The Command center at the Police Station is also used as a staging center.

Security

  • The Police reported that there are currently no security issues to report of significant concern.

Psychosocial Support

  • While there are no reported causalities directly related to Matthew, the damage is extensive and several families have been displaced. The psychological welfare of the population is of concern.

Housing

  • Initial reports are that 25 homes were ‘completely destroyed’. Preliminary site observations show that more than 30 dwellings sustained Level 4 damage with both concrete and wooden structures being affected, displacing 131 individuals. Site visits over the coming days to the remaining communities will verify this amount.

Water and sanitation

  • Water supply has been interrupted in Northern communities (Lowe Sound, Morgan’s Bluff and Red Bays) due to broken pipes.

Health and Sanitation

  • The Nicholls Town Health Centre sustained damage to infrastructure and some medication has been lost. However, services are expected to continue as usual on Tuesday October 11, 2016 whilst repairs are ongoing. Water and food needs appear to be satisfactory at the moment but sustainable supply in question.

Assessment of Grand Bahama

The following is the initial assessment report from team 3 (Grand Bahama):

West End

  • Most of the impacted houses were on Sea Side Road which is along the coast and sustained level three (3) damage. Damage to the Police Station and the Gas Station was also observed.

Flooding

  • The area was heavily impacted by flooding. Land saturation was observed.

Public Health

  • Public health facilities are closed due to the absence of power and water supplies. Evidence of settled water and debris (tree trimmings, seaweed) were observed.

Shelters

  • There were no shelters in the area. The entire community was evacuated.

Infrastructure

  • The major road network is relatively clear of debris. There are considerable amounts of fallen utility poles with suspended electrical wires. Water, electricity and communication facilities have been severely impacted. The dock facility used by fisher folk is destroyed however; the airport and sea port is operational.

General observations for Freeport

  • There are fallen utility poles and trees observed in this area. Most of the commercial buildings sustained level one (1) damage and a few being level three (3). Several hotels remained closed to carry out clean-up activities and to conduct more impact assessments.

Immediate Needs

  • Psychosocial support is required especially for the heavily impacted coastal community residents
  • Residents have expressed concerns about a need for strengthened security
  • Water for all purposes inclusive of truck borne water
  • Food
  • Cleaning agents
  • Temporary toilets
  • Toiletries
  • Generators

Medium Needs

  • Alternative shelter arrangements especially for the residents who have returned to their coastal homes in West End

REGIONAL ACTIONS:
The Regional Coordination Plan (RCP) remains activated and the Regional Coordination Centre (RCC) at the CDEMA CU remains activated.

The CDEMA CU has undertaken the following actions:

  • Maintained regular contact with impacted Participating States - Haiti, and The Bahamas.
  • A CARICOM Operational Support Team (COST) arrived in Haiti on Saturday 8th October 2016. Three (3) Rapid Needs Assessment Teams (RNAT) arrived in The Bahamas on Saturday 8th October 2016 to support assessments in New Providence, Grand Bahama and Andros islands. The findings of the assessment process will be collated and presented to the Government of the Bahamas on Wednesday October 12, 2016. The CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU), the CARICOM Disaster Assessment and Coordination (CDAC) team and the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams remain on standby.
  • Discussions continue to be held with regional and international partners on potential areas of support to any impacted Participating State.
  • The RRM was activated on October 7th, 2016 and remains activated.
  • A high level delegation visited Haiti today October 11, 2016 and will visit the Bahamas from October 12- 13, 2016. The delegation will undertake discussions with the leadership of the affected states to confirm additional areas where the Community can support Members of the delegation include:
  • The Honourable Roosevelt Skerritt, Prime Minister of Dominica and Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government of Caribbean Community
  • Secretary General of CARICOM – Ambassador Irwin LaRoque
  • Executive Director of CDEMA – Mr Ronald Jackson
  • Honourable Saboto Caesar Minister of Agriculture St. Vincent and the Grenadines supported by a technical representative from the Food and Agriculture organization (FAO)
  • Dr David Farrell, Principal of the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (will join the mission for the Haiti segment)
  • Participated in the OCHA Press Conference on October 10, 2016 at 9:00am (Barbados time) and provided an update on support provided by CDEMA and its regional partners

Please click here to view Appendix 1, pledges and donations of support to Haiti and the Bahamas to date.

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

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

 

Vacancies

CDEMA Annual Reports