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Home News Centre Situation Reports Ecological Disaster Area Declared for Layou River Valley, Dominica
Ecological Disaster Area Declared for Layou River Valley, Dominica
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Situation Report # 2 - As of Friday July 29, 2011 4:00 p.m.

The Event:
The Mathieu Dam collapsed yesterday July 28, 2011, at around 12:30 a.m. causing substantial damage to roads, infrastructure, agriculture and utilities. As a result, the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica has declared an ecological disaster area in the Layou Valley. During the night at around 8:00 p.m. there was a second breach of the Dam resulting in a flash flood and a subsequent landslide. Reports from aerial and ground surveillance teams conducted today, July 29, 2011, have indicated that water that was trapped and had caused the flash flooding has been completely drained and the river is back to its normal flow. The immediate danger of flash floods has now been eliminated.

Impact:
•    No deaths or injuries have been reported.
•    Substantial damage to road, infrastructure, agriculture and utilities.  
•    Complete destruction of an agricultural propagation station.
•    Thirteen (13) private dwellings affected.
•    The center of the Clarke Hall Bridge has been washed away making it impassable.
•    The area from east to west of bridge is impassable.

National Actions:
The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica has requested the technical assistance from the CDEMA Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) to support the assessment of the impacted area. As such, the event is now categorized as a Level 2 response within the CDEMA System, which means the event is being managed locally, but the RRM will provide technical experts.

A coordinating meeting was convened today at 2:30 p.m. at the Office of Disaster Management to discuss the plan of action for the continued assessment and recovery efforts.

The Dominica Red Cross, the Layou Improvement Committee and the Ministry of Local Government Ministry of Public Works, Agriculture and the other agencies are continuing to conduct damage assessments and recovery efforts.  

The French helicopter did the aerial survey yesterday, July 28, 2011 as requested and confirmed the impact to the area. Another aerial survey was conducted by the French technical team and the Special Services Unit (SSU) of the Police Force over the impacted area along with a ground surveillance team.  

The main concerns remain:
•    contamination and pollution of the environment,
•    contamination of the potable water system,
•    disposal of the carcasses (marine and livestock),
•    heavy siltation (up to 6 feet deep) on the roads and,
•    chemical pollution from the destroyed agricultural station.

Regional Actions:
CDEMA continues to remain in contact with the National Emergency Operation Centre and the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica.  

As a result of the formal request for technical assistance from the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica, the following actions have been taken.  

1.    Dr. David Farrell and Mr. Shawn Boyce of the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) are scheduled to arrive tomorrow, July 30, 2011 to conduct a technical survey of the Mathieu dam and a preventative check of the Antrim dam.

2.    A technical team from the University of the West Indies has been placed on standby for possible deployment.

CDEMA will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as warranted.

The CDEMA 24 hour telephone contact number is 1-246-425-0386



 


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