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Message: Hurricane Irene a Category 3 Hurricane continues to impact the Bahamas. Turks and Caicos warnings downgraded to Tropical Storm Warning.


Event:
The Bahamas continues to experience Hurricane conditions as Hurricane Irene moves across the archipelago. At 8.00 a.m. today, the National Hurricane Centre upgraded Hurricane Irene to a Category 3 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph and some strengthening is forecasted.

At 11.00 a.m the eye of Hurricane Irene was located near latitude 22.4 north and longitude 73.9 west about 100 miles southeast of Long Island Bahamas and about 285 miles south east of Nassau. Hurricane force winds extended outward up to 50 miles from the centre and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 205 miles.

Irene moved across the Turks and Caicos Islands last evening as a Category One hurricane but continues to affect the islands. There were reports from Provo early this morning of hurricane force winds of 75-110 miles. As of 8.00 a.m today warnings for the Turks and Caicos Islands have been downgraded to Tropical Strom Warnings.

Prognosis:
Irene is moving  on a northwest track at near 12 mph and this general motion is expected to continue through tonight.   On the forecast track the core of Irene will move across the southeastern and central Bahamas tonight and over the northwestern Bahamas on Thursday.

Some strengthening is forecast during the day and Irene could become a Category four Hurricane by Thursday.

Irene is expected to produce storm surge as high 7 to 11 feet above normal tide levels over the central and northwestern Bahamas and by as much as 5 to 8 feet above normal tide levels over the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.  Near the coast the surge will be
accompanied by large and dangerous waves.  Rainfall accumulations of 6-12 inches are expected in the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.


 

Turks and Caicos Islands:

  1. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for the Turks and Caicos Islands.
  2. The National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) remains  activated and all shelters are open.
  3. There has been some flooding in some areas of Providenciales and South Caicos.
  4. Minimal damage has also beenreported in Providenciales so far.
  5. The North and South Caicos and some areas of Providenciales are without power.

Bahamas:

  1. Hurricane warnings remain in effect for the Bahamas. Acklins and Crooked Islands with an estimated of 400-500 persons on islands are expected to be severely impacted.
  2. The National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) remains activated
  3. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force remains on full alert. Military personnel have been pre-deployed across the islands
  4. Hurricane shelters are being opened in each of the islands. Shelters in New Providence Island will be opened at 6.00pm today. More than one hundred persons are in shelters on Acklins and Crooked Islands.
  5. The Airport in New Providence Island will be closed as of 2.00pm today (August 24, 2011)
  6. Air Assets are being taken off island to safe harbour.
  7. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has indicated that engineers and artisans may be required to support response operations.

Regional Response:

The Sub-regional Focal Point, Jamaica which is the lead for the North-western sub-region continues to advance 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 deployment of a reconnaissance aircraft if necessary are also being considered.

CDEMA has requested the Technical Teams to remain on standby and to ensure that make preparations for further deployment.

Arrangements are being made for a CDEMA Coordinating Unit Team to travel to Jamaica on Friday, August 26, 2011.  Jamaica is positioned to be the staging area for deployment of personnel and supplies to the impacted states.

CDEMA continues to brief partners within the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) and discuss response and relief assistance and operations plans.

CDEMA has been sharing the reports on the passage of Irene with the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Panama. In the context of our common Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), UN OCHA has offered their support to supplement the efforts of the Regional Response Mechanism.  CDEMA will continue to liaise with UN OCHA to advance these arrangements as necessary.

The RRM remains on standby. The CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU) is also on standby and arrangements continue to be advanced for deployment of military engineering teams if needed.

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

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


 

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