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Message: Tropical Storm Warning in effect for Jamaica, Hurricane warning in effect for Haiti.

Situation: Tomas has regained strength. Maximum sustained winds are now 45 mph with higher gusts. At 11.00 a.m, November 4, 2010, the centre of the storm was located at latitude 16.3 north and longitude 76.1 W, which is about 125 miles south southeast of Kingston, Jamaica and 295 miles west south west of Port-au Prince Haiti. Tropical Storm winds extend outward up to 85 miles mainly to the east of  the center.
A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours but in this instance within 24 -36 hours.

A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning areas within 36 hours, but in this instance within 24-36 hours.

Prognosis: Tomas is moving towards the north near 8 mph.  A turn towards the north-northeast and northeast with an increase in forward speed is predicted over the next 48 hours. On this forecast track Tomas will pass near Jamaica and Haiti tonight (November 4, 2010)  and near or over the southeast of the Bahamas late Friday and Friday night (November 5, 2010)

Tomas is forecasted to strengthen during the next 24-36 hours and could be at hurricane strength as the centre passes over the southeastern Bahamas.

The system is expected to produce a total of 5-10 inches of rainfall with possible isolated amounts of 15 inches over Haiti; 1-3 inches over Jamaica and 3-5 inches over the Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos islands.  The rainfall could cause life threatening flash floods and mud slides over mountainous areas Dangerous storm surge is forecast of 1to 3 feet above normal tide levels in the warning areas and can be accompanied by large and potentially dangerous waves.

National Actions:

Jamaica

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management advised earlier today (November 4, 2010) that all schools in Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Thomas, St. Mary and Portland are closed and the phasing down of operations for non-essential government entities and private sector enterprises within the Eastern Parishes should be completed by mid-day, (November 4, 2010). Business and government entities were advised to initiate pre-impact activities.

Shelter preparations have been completed and relief supplies have been prepositioned in priority shelters in areas that are generally prone to flooding.
Emergency Operation Centres in the threatened parishes have been activated, while personnel in other Parishes are on standby.


A Press conference was held to sensitize the public on the approaching storm.   Citizens have been advised to rush to complete preparations to protect life and property.


Haiti

The Civil Protection Directorate (CPD) in Haiti has reported that all disaster management committees have been mobilized
Every effort is being made by the CPD to inform citizens, particularly those near the seaside, of the approaching storm and the urgency to seek safer shelter. Camp dwellers have been advised to leave and seek refuge with family and friends.  President Preval and CPD’s Director Madame Alta Jean Baptiste also met with the various committees and visited some districts to emphasise the severity of the situation.


Tent dwellers have started to evacuate but most are reluctant to leave, however mandatory evacuation will be initiated as the storm advances.
CPD has also held discussions with UN Agencies and NGOs to identify accessible supplies in storage.  


Bahamas

The National Emergency Management Agency reported yesterday evening (November 3, 2010) that the Administrative Officers in the sister islands have been contacted and the local disaster committees have met to discuss and initiate pre-impact activities.


Turks and Caicos

The Department of Disaster and Emergency Management reported on November 3, 2010 that the Island Committees have met and preparations have begun.  The Public has been advised and preparations and safety tips have been issued.


An Executive Policy Group Meeting which is chaired by the Governor is scheduled for today, November 4, 2010 and will inform the further actions to be taken.


Regional Response:

The CDEMA Coordinating Unit has been in contact with the National Disaster Offices of the threatened Participating States and continues to monitor the situation.

The CDEMA Coordinating Unit stands ready to provide response support should this become necessary.


The Regional Response Mechanism remains on standby as we monitor the development of the system.


Contact Details: The CDEMA CU 24hr contact number is 1 246 425 0386

 

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