Tropical Wave - Information Note #1 as of 7:00 pm on September 27th, 2016

THE SITUATION:

According to the latest advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Miami, Florida, At 8:00 AM EDT, Tuesday September 2016, an Atlantic Ocean tropical wave located about 475 miles east-southeast of Barbados continues to become more organised and is likely that a tropical depression or a tropical storm may form or tonight. Environmental conditions are favorable for continued development, while the system moves westward to west- northwestward at 15 to 20 mph. Interests in the eastern and central Caribbean Sea, including the northern coast of South America, should monitor the progress of this disturbance, since warnings and watches could be required at any time. Regardless of whether the system is a tropical wave or tropical cyclone, heavy rains and wind gusts to tropical storm force are expected to spread over the Windward Islands and portions of the southern Lesser Antilles, beginning tonight and continuing into Wednesday.

 

The NHC 5 day projected cone of activity now includes the Leeward Islands as the system takes more of a west to west-northwest track into the Lesser Antilles. The cloudiness could extend into the Leeward Islands. The first bands of showers will increase gradually through Tuesday evening.

NATIONAL ACTIONS:

The CDEMA Coordinating Unit is in contact with the National Disaster Coordinators (NDCs) in Barbados, Grenada, Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

Barbados
The Department of Emergency Management (DEM) held a Press Briefing at 2:00 p.m. to advise the public on the status of the system, the likely impact to the country and the actions that are being taken. The press briefing was supported by key stakeholders including the Barbados Meteorological Services, the Transport Board and the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Business. The public was encouraged to pay attention to messages from authoritative sources and to "err on the side of caution" given the unpredictable nature of such systems.

Actions taken:

  • The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) will be activated at 10:00 p.m. tonight
  • Primary and secondary schools and public day-care centres will be closed on Wednesday 28 September
  • Bus services will continue until 8:00 p.m.
  • Shelters (20) have been opened and wardens are on duty
  • Persons in flood-prone areas were encourage to seek shelter as early as possible with family member as the first option
  • The Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Business (BCCB) encouraged private sector entities to close early today as far possible, activate their BCPs and to take actions protect their property. The BCCB has also established Business EOC to be activated as needed during crises.

Dominica
The Office of Disaster Management (ODM), Dominica has provided the following information:

• Worst Case Scenario

i. Extreme flooding from heavy rains in mountainous interior causing rivers to swell.
ii. Extreme coastal flooding from surge associated with system.
iii. Landslides causing road blockages, road sinkages and damage to property and other critical infrastructure.
iv. Damage to bailey bridges from flood waters.
v. Further impact to communities severely affected by the impact of TS Erika in 2015.

• Partial Activation of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) from 8 pm, Tuesday September 27, 2016

a. This partial activation will be manned by the ODM staff, a Meteorological Officer, Police Officer, Emergency Communications Officer, Cadettes, and Government Information Service (GIS) personnel. All other stakeholders were placed on standby.
b. The Local Government Commissioner alerted shelter managers to be on standby. Some shelters may be opened.
c. Transportation sub-committee was placed on standby to transport persons and resources should the need arise.

• Other National level activities to date:

d. Advisory Issued– 26 September, 2016 asking marine folk to remain in port and secure their vessels.
e. Press brief was held on the National Radio Station (DBS) at 9:30 am to brief the public on the system.
f. News release from the ODM was issued at 4:00 pm 26 September, 2016 and 6:00 am September 27, 2016
g. The Ministry of Education cancelled school tomorrow, 28 September, 2016.
h. All Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) were placed on standby via the national whatsapp CERT group. Over 60 persons confirmed their availability.
i. The ODM has been having regular discussions with the Met Service.

Grenada
The National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) in Grenada continues to monitor the progress of the tropical wave and has been holding regular discussions with the Met Service to develop “worst case” scenarios.

• Partial Activation of the National Emergency Operations Centre from 9 pm. This was decided after a meeting of the National Emergency Advisory Council

a. Only the essential services will be stood up fully and this includes Police, Emergency Communications, Shelter Committee, Works
b. All 17 District Disaster Management Committees have been alerted
i. Carriacou and Petite Martinique have already held emergency meetings as they are more exposed and likely to be cut off should there be an impact
c. Localized (safe) shelters have been identified
d. Shelter management teams have been alerted
e. Some shelters may be open following the 6 pm update. This will be considered to accommodate the most at risk
f. Live broadcast across the nation – post Cabinet brief this morning

• Other National level activities to date:

g. No final decision on public transport this will be made following 6 pm news
h. Advisory has been issued to Marine Advisory since yesterday – 26 September, 2016 (boats should not go out to fish and those out should come in)
i. School will not be open tomorrow
j. National Water and Sewerage Authority will cut off water at 10 pm
k. Government offices were advised to secure work place inclusive of important documents by close of business today
l. Businesses were asked to secure documents and work places from floods

Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia’s National Disaster Office has been receiving constant updates from the Meteorological office. They note that rainfall is expected throughout the island. Areas of special concern are on the south eastern side such as Soufriere, Dennery and Castries and on the west coast of Anse la Raye and Canneries. The national disaster management system is on alert.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines
The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) has been holding regular discussions with the Met Service to develop “worst case” scenarios.

• Nation Wide Impact
• Most ‘at risk communities’ on the island of Saint Vincent – Colonaire and Byera-Gorse (neighbouring communities). These two are on the windward side of the island.
• Most ‘at risk islands’ from the Grenadines – Bequia and Union Island. The NDC has indicated that there is great concern for these two islands

• All systems are on stand-by to be fully activated once a Warning has been issued. This follows a meeting of the National Emergency Council chaired by Acting Prime Minister – Hon. Montgomery Daniel

National level activities to date:

• Schools closed nationwide at 2 pm
• Regular issuance of media releases keeping the public informed of the situation and reminding them to enhance preparedness measures

Trinidad and Tobago
The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), Trinidad and Tobago provided the following information:

• Community distribution drive for high risk communities within the municipal areas currently being coordinated. Focus will be on Diego Martin Regional Corporation (DMRC), Mayaro Rio Claro Regional Corporation (MRCRC), Sangre Grande Regional Corporation (SGRC), San Juan Laventille Regional Corporation (SJLRC) and Tunapuna Piarco Regional Corporation (TPRC).
• The ODPM’s Public Advisory #2 based on the Information Bulletin #4 issued by the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Office (TTMET) at 8:00 a.m. 27 September, 2016 was sent to the following stakeholders:

o Massy Group
o Red Cross Society
o Rotary Clubs of Trinidad and Tobago
o The Anglican Society and
o The Lions Club
o ODPM’s Staff

• ODPM’s official website and social media Platforms (Facebook) has been updated with ODPM’s Public Advisory #2

• The ODPM’s Disaster Readiness App forwarded a push notifications “Please see website and Social media for latest Public Advisory”.

• Volunteer have been alerted to be on standby for impact and prepare for “Adverse Weather Community Distribution”

REGIONAL ACTIONS:

CDEMA will continue to monitor the system and provide updates as is necessary. The Regional Coordination Plan has been activated and the Regional Response Mechanism has been placed on standby. The CARICOM Disaster Assessment and Coordination (CDAC) team and CARICOM Operational Support Team (COST) have been placed on standby for the impending threat of the tropical system approaching the Eastern Caribbean. CDEMA is equipped to offer support through the mobilization and deployment of the CDAC and COST to its Participating States and stands ready to respond as required.

A pre-strike meeting of the Eastern Caribbean Development Partner Group (ECDPG) – Disaster Management was convened at 12:00 noon today. Partner agencies who are members of this group are monitoring the system. USAID-OFDA has pre-deployed personnel to Barbados today September 26, 2016 to supplement its existing team. The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) has been providing regular updates and analyses on the system. This information is being utilized to refine scenario planning for the system.

The public is advised to…

• Monitor radio or television and other official sources of information for progress reports
• Update your personal family preparedness plan and action items according to that plan
• The website www.weready.org provides additional information

CONTACT DETAILS: The CDEMA CU 24-hour contact number 1(246) 434-4880

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