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Message: Hurricane Irene a Category 3 Hurricane continues to impact the Bahamas. Turks and Caicos warnings have been discontinued.

Event

Based on information from the National Hurricane Centre, The Bahamas continues to experience Hurricane conditions as Hurricane Irene moves across the archipelago.  At 11.00 a.m. today, the centre of Hurricane Irene was located near latitude 25.9 north and longitude 76.8 west and is about 75 miles north-north east of Nassau.  Hurricane force winds extend up to 70 miles from the centre and tropical storm winds extend outward to 290 miles.  

Irene moved across the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday August 24, 2011 as a Category One hurricane resulting in severe flooding. On the islands of Grand Turk and Providenciales, there are signs that flood waters are receding.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the central and northwestern Bahamas.

Prognosis

The National Hurricane Centre advises that Irene is moving toward the north northwest near 13 mph and that general motion is expected to continue through the night. Maximum sustained winds are near 115mph with higher gusts. Further strengthening is possible throughout today and tonight. A turn toward the north is expected by early Friday.  On its current forecast track, the core of the hurricane will continue to move over the northwestern Bahamas today.

Hurricane force winds are currently spreading over the northwestern Bahamas. Hurricane or tropical force winds are still occurring over portions of the central Bahamas but should diminish later today. An extremely dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 7 to 11 feet above normal tide levels over the central and north-western Bahamas. Water levels are expected to gradually subside over the Southeastern Bahamas throughout tonight.  Near the coast the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves.  

Irene is expected to produce additional rainfall accumulation of 6 to 12 inches over The Bahamas . Irene is a Category 3 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale and additional strengthening is possible by Friday 26th 2011.   


Turks and Caicos Islands:
Impact

  1. The All-Clear was given
  2. Power has been restored to the majority of the island of Grand Turk.  Only the far north end of the island remains without power.  Power is also being restored to the south side of Providenciales including Long Bay and Blue Hills
  3. Flood waters are subsiding in  Grand Turk and Providenciales both through pumping and natural run-off
  4. Flood waters have subsided at the Mark Capes and John Smith Airports in Providenciales
  5. The roads have been cleared of fallen cables and stalled vehicles

National Actions

  • The Policy Group continues to meet daily to assess the situation and to advance response and recovery efforts.
  • The National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) remains activated and are coordinating the national efforts
  • The airports in Turks and Caicos Islands have reopened
  • The initial reconnaissance has been initiated with the US Coast Guard
  • The British Ministry of Defence, Royal Fleet Auxiliary Wave Ruler, has arrived in the Turks and Caicos Islands and will conduct a more detailed reconnaissance today August 25, 2011. The ship has a fully manned hurricane relief team embarked. The first task for the ship will be to send its helicopter to fly across all the islands in the TCI and provide a full survey and assessment of the effects of Hurricane Irene. This will inform allocation of available resources to meet immediate requirements, and seek outside assistance, if required, to restore services and communications as soon as practicable.

Immediate Needs

No needs identified for Turks and Caicos Islands so far.

The Commonwealth of the Bahamas:

Impact

Hurricane warnings remain in effect for the Bahamas.

Hurricane Irene has impacted islands in Southeastern and the Central Bahamas.

SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS

Mayaguana, Crooked Islands and Acklins Islands in the southeast of the Bahamas have received winds between 90-110 mph.

Mayaguana

  1. The island remains without power
  2. 40 houses have received level 2 damages including the roof of the church
  3. The communities of Betsy Bay, Pirate Wells and Abraham’s Bay have been impacted.

Crooked Islands

  1. A number of buildings have lost roofs including the school in Colonel Hill and the John’s Baptist Church
  2. Two (2) classroom blocks at the Colonel Hill school have been severely damaged

Acklins Island

  1. Fallen power lines and trees have restricted some road access
  2. 90% of the settlements on the island have been impacted
  3. The housing stock has been impacted including some damage to roofs

CENTRAL BAHAMAS

  1. Winds of at least 70 mph have impacted the Long Islands, Rum Cay, Cat Island, Exuma, Eleuthera and New Providence in the Central Bahamas.
  2. Flooding has been reported in Clarence Town in Long Island
  3. A number of homes and the St. Paul’s Anglican Church received roof damages

National Actions

  1. The NEOC remains  in contact with the Central and Southeastern islands
  2. A number shelters remain opened in Central Bahamas and several persons have sought shelter in Eleuthera and New Providence.
  3. The initial damage assessment on the ground has already begun and initial reports should be received by 6pm today.
  4. The Bahamas Defence Force deployed a vessel to safe harbour on the approach of Irene which is expected to begin assessments of the southern Bahamas islands and provide initial assistance to the impacted populations once the all clear is provided.

Immediate Needs

The initial needs have been identified for damage assessment and military engineer teams for rebuilding.

Regional Response

  1. The CDEMA Coordinating Unit has deployed this morning, General Earl Arthurs (ret’d) to the CDEMA sub-regional focal point-Jamaica to lead the aerial reconnaissance on behalf of CARICOM. This will inform allocation of available resources to meet immediate needs and guide a CARICOM response and other external assistance as necessary.
  2. CDEMA will also deploy another representative to the staging area as a first step in possible onward engagement in the threatened states. The CDEMA deployment will be critical in advancing arrangements for a staging area if necessary, for the deployment and redeployment of relief supplies and technical teams to support the impacted for a CARICOM response.
  3. Regional Technical Teams in key areas of emergency response are on standby from the Caribbean region. This includes technical teams from the Southern Caribbean and from the Sub-regional focal point for the north-western sub-region (Jamaica).
  4. The regional warehouses located in the North-western sub-region (Jamaica), Eastern sub-region (Antigua), Central sub-region (Barbados) and Southern sub-region (Trinidad) have been alerted are on standby, and the regional inventory for emergency supplies have been updated.
  5. CDEMA continues to collaborate with regional partners within the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) including its 18 Participating States, Regional Security System Central Liaison Office (RSS/CLO), University of the West Indies (UWI), Caribbean Electricity Services Corporation (CARILEC), who have placed their teams on standby both for rapid needs assessment and for response/recovery efforts as required.
  6. CDEMA is also collaborating with international partners who interface with the Regional Response Mechanism such as the Department for International Development (DFID), Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the United States Agency for International Development/Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) and the Government of Brazil to complement the efforts of the Caribbean region to support the affected states as necessary.
  7. The CDEMA Coordinating Unit continues to monitor the situation, with at least twice daily contact with the impacted states. So far the CDEMA CU has prepared and shared five (5) Information Notes and three (3) Situation Reports on the system since its development.

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 required.

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

 

Vacancies

CDEMA Annual Reports