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Message: The islands of The Bahamas and Haiti suffered severe impact from the passage of Hurricane Matthew, the 5th named Hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season. As a result, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) through the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) facilitated the coordination and deployment of regional specialized response teams to provide operational support and damage/needs assessments in the most affected areas in Haiti and The Bahamas. The Caribbean Community will also make targeted relief interventions in the affected Member States.

 

North Western-Caribbean Participating States
Regular updates and situation reports are being provided by the National Disaster Offices (NDOs) of Haiti and The Commonwealth of The Bahamas to the Regional Coordination Centre (RCC). The RCC and the Regional Coordination Plan (RCP) at the CDEMA CU remains activated.

(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.)

NATIONAL ACTIONS:

HAITI
The latest Damage and Injury Report (as of 13th October 2016 at 7:00PM) from the NEOC in Haiti indicates the following:

  • Areas Affected: Three (3) of the 10 departments were most 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: 546 (confirmed). These numbers are expected to increase as assessments continue.
  • Missing: 128
  • Injured: 439
  • 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: 11 of 33 hospitals damaged in Sud, Nippes and Grand Anse, 34 (16%) of acute diarrhea treatment centres have been affected; suspected cases of cholera have been increasing
  • 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. Preliminary reports indicate that almost 100% of crops in the Grand Anse area were destroyed.
  • Human Impact: need for psychosocial support in affected areas in the south.

UPDATES: CARICOM Operational Support Team (COST)

The COST continues to be stationed in Les Cayes and will provide further surge capacity in the EOCs of (i) Jeremie, (in Grande Anse) and (ii) Les Cayes, (in the South).

Emergency Operation Centre (EOC):

Efforts are ongoing to support the coordination work of the EOC in Les Cayes. The COST team participated in the Humanitarian Briefing sessions held at MINUSTAH, which encourages and facilitates coordination among relief agencies.

The team visited the Jeremie EOC. Several partner agencies are on the ground with which the team will be able to coordinate support to the EOC.

Communication:

The EOC site in Les Cayes continues to operate without internet connectivity due to challenges with the cell site in the vicinity. The VHF and HF Radio antennae were fixed and now both radios are in working condition.

Schools and Shelter:

There is an initial indication that the authorities in Les Cayes would like to close shelters by the weekend (15-16 October 2016) and re-open schools by the 18 October 2016.

Community Visits:

The priority for citizens is immediate relief and reconstruction of homes. There is a wish to avoid creating “tent cities” as was done following the 2009 earthquake. Material to help with construction is preferred over temporary solutions such as tents and plastic sheeting. There is an opportunity to promote “building back better”.

THE BAHAMAS

The Government of the Bahamas is coordinating the response efforts in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Initial relief supplies have been provided from the capital for the most affected communities. On Sunday October 10, 2016, The Rt. Honourable Perry Christie, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas provided an initial estimate of damages as four times (4x) higher than the US $100M in damages resulting from Hurricane Joaquin which occurred just one year earlier in 2015. He highlighted the substantial damages to homes and loss of personal items and has issued an exigency order, effective Tuesday October 11, 2016, to allow for specific tax exemptions on goods imported for rebuilding purposes as well as water, tarp, and some “personal items”.

UPDATES: Rapid Needs Assessment Team (RNAT)

Three (3) Rapid Needs Assessment Teams (RNATs) were deployed to The Bahamian islands of Arnos, Grand Bahama and New Providence. The teams were deployed between October 9th and 12th, 2016 and redeployed on October 14, 2016.

The RNATs focused on the following areas:

  • Health
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene
  • Coastal
  • Education
  • Communications
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Emergency response coordination

The RNATs conducted rapid assessments of the impact of Hurricane Matthew with the aim of identifying emergency needs and recommended actions. The results of the RNAT will allow the Bahamian officials to make key decisions that are necessary to mount an effective response and prioritize the recovery and rehabilitation efforts. The communities assessed and their immediate needs are highlighted below. A detailed report is being developed.

New Providence (Team 1)

  • New Providence is the most populous island in The Bahamas containing more than 70% of the total population.
  • The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) identified the most affected areas being Southern Shores, Bains Town, Yamacraw, Lumumba Sea Breeze, Misty Gardens.
  • Some of the needs identified include; tarpaulins (to provide temporary roofing), food, water, cleaning agents, sleeping cots/beds, psychological support.

Grand Bahama (Team 2)

  • Two and half day rapid assessments were conducted in West End and the Hawksbill area, which includes Hunter’s, Lewis Yard, Mack Town, Beck Town, Pinder’s Point.
  • The immediate needs identified by NEMA’s Grand Bahama representative include: generators – (brand and model Generac 15000 series), chain saws, grinding and chipping equipment for fallen trees, water (for the worst hit areas), food, tarps, baby supplies (milk, clothing, wipes, pampers, etc.)
  • Alternative shelter arrangements are required especially for the residents who have returned to their coastal homes in West End.

Andros (Team 3)

  • Six (6) communities of North Andros; Red Bays, Lowe Sound, Morgans Bluff, Nicholls Town, Conch Sound and Mastic Point were assessed.
  • The immediate needs identified include; relief supplies for affected population (food, water and toiletries), surge capacity for relief supplies management, surge capacity for damage assessments, building materials (primarily roofing materials), psychosocial support, surge capacity for health education and surge capacity for vector control.

The overall preliminary needs identified include:

  1. Rapid restoration of utilities through support from CARICOM countries.
  2. Support to the agricultural and fishing communities through the provision of seeds, equipment and required inputs for restoration.
  3. Cash donations to address the early recovery needs beyond relief for persons experiencing substantial personal losses.

Overall needs within the Bahamas are being collated by the National Emergency Operations Centre.

REGIONAL ACTIONS:

CARICOM High Level Delegation

High-level discussions were held on October 11, 2016 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti between a delegation of CARICOM including the Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRoque; Chairman of the Conference of the Heads of Government the Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica, the Honourable Sabato Caesar, Minister of Agriculture, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Executive Director CDEMA, the Principal of the CIMH, Dr David Farrell and Officials of the Government of Haiti. The delegation also met with Government of the Bahamas from October 12-13, 2016.

The Caribbean Community is seeking to make a targeted intervention in Haiti. This will provide immediate relief to a section of the population currently in shelters in the communities of Les Cayes and Jeremie in the Southern Department of Haiti.

The proposed intervention will prioritize immediate relief in the form of: Water; food, Tarpaulin and supplies for babies. This will be supported by the mobilization of CARICOM disciplined forces including the CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU).

A SAVINGRAM has been issued to CARICOM states with recommendations for actions that Member States can take to support Haiti and the Bahamas.

Please click here for Appendix 1 which summarises pledges and donations of support to Haiti and The Bahamas as of 5:00PM October 13th, 2016.

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