Situation Report #4 Hurricane Tomas – Regional Response Teams on the Ground providing support to Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (as of 5.00 pm, November 2, 2010)

Message: Regional Response Teams on the ground providing support to Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Event
Tomas impacted the CDEMA Participating States of Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Barbados, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines between October 29 and 31, 2010 and caused significant losses and damage to Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Excessive rainfall and high winds have resulted in damage to the housing stock, agriculture sector, road infrastructure,  downed power lines and disruption to the utilities sector. The areas severely affected in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are Park Hill, Chester Cottage, Sandy Bay and Byera on the Windward side of mainland St. Vincent and Chateaubelair, Coulls Hill, Spring Village and Fitz Hughes on the north western side of the island.

Saint Lucia has been severely impacted island wide, however, based on aerial reconnaissance, Soufriere appears to be the most affected by Hurricane Tomas with major landslides and the area remains cut off from the neighboring communities of Choiseul and Canaries.

A national disaster has been declared in Saint Lucia and disaster areas have been declared for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines from Park Hill to Sandy Bay on the Windward side and Belle Isle to Fitz Hughes on the north western side of the island.

Prognosis
At 5.00p.m today, November 2, 2010, the centre of Hurricane Tomas was located near latitude 13.5 north and longitude 74.6 west. Tomas is moving toward the west-southwest near 14mph. A turn toward the west–northwest and then northwest with a decrease in forward speed is expected during the next 48 hours. Tomas has weakened to maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. Tomas  could regain hurricane strength by Thursday.

The forecast for Tropical Storm Tomas as at 5:00 p.m today, November 2, 2010 shows the possible storm centre of Tomas near Haiti and Jamaica by 8:00 a.m on Friday, November 5, 2010. These countries should therefore be on alert and pay close attention to weather forecasts  

Barbados
Impact
Tropical Storm Tomas has resulted in wide spread roof loss, downed power lines and trees across Barbados.  
Approximately, 500 homes have been damaged.
75 to 80 percent of the electrical service to island was disrupted and water supply was significantly reduced in many areas.  


National Actions
The Ministry of Education has advised that all schools will reopen on Thursday, November 4, 2010.

Teams on the ground are continuing with damage assessments by November 1, 2010. The Barbados Light and Power is working to restore full service to affected areas.

The Red Cross has distributed tarpaulins to 37 families in St. Joseph and St. Andrew. Linens have also been donated by the Barbados Red Cross to the District Emergency Organisations.


St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Impact
The winds and heavy rains resulted in significant damage across the island but mainly on the windward and north western sides of the island. The National Emergency Management Organisation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines reported yesterday November 1, 2010 that damage assessment is continuing.
Preliminary reports on impact are as follows:
•    No deaths reported, two (2) persons injured,
•    Approximately 1200 houses damaged and 14 destroyed,
•    Seven (7) Government buildings damaged,
•    The shelter population has decreased. There were 821 persons in shelters as of November 1, 2010.
•    All main roads are now passable,
•    Water and power supplies are still affected,
•    Widespread devastation in the banana industry and the tree crop and vegetable sectors are severely affected.

National Actions
The National Emergency Operations Centre is partially activated and damage assessment is continuing.
All schools will remain closed for the remainder of the week.
The Relief Supplies and Shelter Management Sub-Committee are still coordinating the relief supplies distribution process.
Road clearing and clean up operations are continuing with the emphasis now on the access and feeder roads leading to farms. Essential services teams have restored about 85-90% of the electricity supply.

All shelters on the Grenadine Islands of Mustique, Bequia and Mayreau were deactivated and closed.

Immediate Needs
•    2,000 Plastic sheeting
•    2,000 Hygiene and comfort kits
•    1,000 blankets
•    Plywood
•    Galvanize sheets
•    Lanterns (non-kerosene)
•    Roofing materials
•    Water jugs

Saint Lucia
Impact
Saint Lucia was significantly impacted by major flooding and landslides along with some wind damage. A number of communities are cut off  and are without access by road. Some communities can be accessed by vessels, whereas those inland can only be reached by helicopters or on foot.

•    Five (5) persons have been confirmed dead
•    Communication is still a challenge island wide. Several radio stations remain off air
•    There has been major damage to roads and bridges.  The Choc and Bois D’Orange two major bridges on the Gros-Islet highway have been affected.
•    The community of Soufriere is completely cut off due to landslides.
•    The Hewanorra airport is still closed.
•    Disruption to electricity and telecommunication services continues,  but has been restored in some areas.
•    The John Compton Dam remains inaccessible due to landslide with damage and loss of power reported to its pump hose.
•    The agriculture industry, particularly bananas were severely affected with 100% crop damage.
•    Soufriere is cut off from the rest of the country.

National Actions
The National Emergency Management Organisation is compiling a quantitative assessment on the damage to assist the Saint Lucian Government in informing donor agencies about the level of financial assistance required.

The Ministry of Education has indicated that schools will remain closed for the rest of the week.

Damage assessment and relief supplies distribution are ongoing.

Shelters are opened and occupied in Canaries, Dennery North and South, Vieux –Fort and Gros-Islet. The shelter population is decreasing.


Immediate Needs and Priority Actions
•    1500 Hygiene Kits
•    1500 – 2000, Plastic Sheeting
•    Temporary bridging for major bridges damaged
•    Water Supply Infrastructure
•    Construction material (both tarpaulin for short term and more permanent material for the longer term)
•    School equipment and supplies
•    Health equipment and supplies
•    Handheld radios
•    Generators

Regional and International Response

1.    Mr Jeremy Collymore, Executive Director, CDEMA and Mr Grantley Watson, the Regional Coordinator of the Regional Security System (RSS) met with the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia the Honourable Stephenson King and Cabinet and other officials of the key sectors yesterday (November 1, 2010). The meeting provided the Executive Director and the Regional Security Coordinator with a firsthand appreciation of the impact on Saint Lucia from Hurricane Tomas and the possible needs that will emerge. The Executive Director highlighted the need to prioritize and quantifiy the impacts in the shortest possible time to inform external assistance and also highlighted emergency response funding options available to support the Government and people of Saint Lucia.

2.    Mr. Jeremy Collymore, Executive Director of CDEMA travelled to St.Vincent and the Grenadines this morning to meet with Government officials. to get an initial overview of extent of loss and damages to inform regional support and assistance to that State.

3.    The Rapid Needs Assessment Team (RNAT) and the CDEMA Emergency Technical Team was deployed to Saint Lucia yesterday (November 1, 2010) to support the national damage assessment teams.

•    The team is focusing on assessments in three priority areas, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Health, and Food.
•    As it relates to health, the team will be assessing the damage to the health infrastructure, the extent of disruption to health services and potential risks for waterborne and vector borne diseases outbreaks..
•    WASH assessments will be conducted on the main water supply infrastructure which provides water to the north of the country. The Team will also be assessing the accessibility and availability of food to the affected population.
•    Houses, schools, and shelters in the impacted areas will also be checked by the team.  


4.    CDEMA has been informed of the following pledges by international donor groups:

-    United States Agency for International Development /Office of U.S Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) - US $50,000 to both Saint Vincent and Grenadines and Saint Lucia.
-    Australia Agency for International Development (AusAID) – Aus$100,000  to support CDEMA’s assistance to the affected states.

5.    The Regional Response Mechanism remains on standby. The CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU) is also on standby and ready to provide response support should this become necessary.

6.    The IFRC has mobilized resources out of the French Overseas Territories to assist in recovery efforts in Saint Lucia.
7.    CDEMA has initiated action for accessing the CDB grant of US$200,000 for each of the affected States.  

8.    The CDEMA Coordinating Unit continues to maintain contact with the impacted Participating States, closely monitoring the situation and coordinating the regional response.


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

CDEMA Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. Resilience Way, Lower Estate, St. Michael Tel: (246) 434-4880, Fax: (246) 271-3660
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