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Message: Hurricane Irene a Category 1 storm is impacting the Turks and Caicos Islands.  Hurricane warnings are in effect for southeastern, central and northwestern Bahamas
Event
Hurricane Irene has begun to impact the Turks and Caicos Islands. At 5.00 p.m EST Hurricane Irene, now a Category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson scale was located near latitude 20.9 north and longitude 71.5 west with maximum sustained winds near 90mph (150 km/h) with higher gusts.

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 40 miles (65km) from the centre and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 205 miles (355km).  Hurricane warnings are in effect for the southeastern, central and northwestern Bahamas.

Prognosis
Irene is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h. On the forecast track the core of Irene will move near or over the Turks and Caicos Islands this evening and the southeastern and central Bahamas tonight and Wednesday and be near or over the northwestern Bahamas on Thursday. Irene is expected to produce storm surge as high as 7 to 11 feet above normal tide levels over the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Rainfall accumulations of 5 to 10 inches are expected in the southeastern and central Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

National Actions

Turks and Caicos Islands:
1.    A hurricane warning is in effect for the Turks and Caicos Islands.
2.    At 8:a.m. this morning, August 23, 2011 a meeting was convened with the UK Department For International Development (DFID) office to assess the situation and to accelerate plans.
3.    The National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) has been activated and all shelters are now open.
4.    Emergency Relief supplies stocks have been checked and arrangements have been put in place to augment supplies through the UK Department For International Development (DFID).

Bahamas:
1.    A hurricane warning has been issued for the southeastern, central and northwestern Bahamas.
2.    The Royal Bahamas Defence Force is on full alert. Military personnel have been pre-deployed across the islands
3.    Hurricane shelters are opened in each of the islands
4.    The National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) has been activated and systems prepared.

5.    The Prime Minister and national committees met at 10:30 a.m today to discuss and initiate all necessary emergency measures ahead of impact.  The Prime Minister issued a statement to residents informing them of Government actions and urging them to complete their emergency preparations.

Regional Response
The CDEMA Coordinating Unit has been monitoring the situation and maintained contact with threatened states.

CDEMA has developed scenarios and operations plans based on the information received from the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) on the threat posed by Irene.  In this regard, Technical Teams have been placed on standby to provide support if needed.

The Sub-regional Focal Point, Jamaica which is the lead for the North-western sub-region has been contacted for advancing arrangements for launching any support if necessary.  These are likely to include deployment of technical teams in areas of Damage and Needs Assessment (DANA), Emergency Operations Centre and Logistics support.  Arrangements for a reconnaissance aircraft are being advanced for deployment if necessary.

CDEMA is also in contact with other partners within the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) and the RRM is now on standby. The CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU) is on standby and arrangements are being advanced for placing military engineering teams.

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

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

 

 

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