Tropical Storm Matthew - Information Note #1 as of 8:00 pm on September 28th, 2016

MESSAGE: Tropical Storm Matthew forms in the Eastern Caribbean

THE SITUATION:

At 11:00 AM (EST), Wednesday September 28, 2016, the tropical disturbance that has been approaching the Eastern Caribbean was upgraded to a Tropical Storm. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Miami, Florida, Tropical Storm Mathew, the 13th named storm of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, was formed near the Windward Islands and has acquired a closed circulation. It was centered at 11 a.m. AST about 35 miles (55 km) southeast of Saint. Lucia. Maximum sustained winds were near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening during the next couple of days is forecast, and Matthew could become a hurricane by Friday.

 

A Tropical Storm warning was issued for Barbados, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread over the southern Leeward Islands and northern Windward Islands within the next few hours and continue into tonight. Interests in Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba, and elsewhere in the Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of Matthew.

The advisory issued by the NHC at 2:00 PM AST (1800 UTC), indicated that the center of Tropical Storm Matthew was located near latitude 13.6 North, longitude 61.3 West. Matthew is moving toward the west near 20 mph (31 km/h). A westward motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will move away from the Windward Islands through tonight, and be over the eastern and central Caribbean Sea through Friday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles (335 km) primarily to the northeast of the center. Winds of 39 mph (63km/h) were recently reported on Barbados, and a weather station on Martinique recently observed sustained winds of 47 mph (75 km/h) with gusts to 60 mph (97 km/h).

NATIONAL ACTIONS:

The CDEMA Coordinating Unit continues to receive updates from the National Disaster Coordinators (NDCs) in Barbados, Dominica, Saint. Lucia and St. Vincent & the Grenadines regarding their status in light of Tropical Storm Mathew.

Barbados

The Department of Emergency Management (DEM), Barbados reported the following:

  • for a Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for Barbados
  • Schools and business will remain closed tomorrow Thursday September 29, 2016
  • Flooding has been reported in some areas and there are some fallen trees on major roadways
  • Four (4) houses have been reported damaged and this have been reported to the National Housing Commission
  • A total of 2-4 inches of rain were expected and a small craft warning is in effect for above normal swells 10-13 ft.
  • Areas of concern are those that traditionally flood such as Bridgetown, Holetown, Speightstown

Shelters
The Department of Emergency Management (DEM) indicated that the Category 1 emergency shelters were opened. A total of three persons were in shelter – 1 person per shelter. The shelters are Combermere, St. Christopher and Lester Vaughn Schools.

EOC
The National EOC was activated since 10PM, Tuesday September 27, 2016.

Electricity
The Barbados Light and Power (BLP) indicated that electricity service was disrupted in Maxwell and Oistins, St Joseph and parts of Christ Church and St Philip. However, electricity has been restored in all areas.

Public Advisory
First responders are inside battened down and will be unable to venture out in dangerous conditions. The public is therefore advised to stay indoors.

Dominica

Reports from the Office of Disaster Management (ODM), Dominica indicate that Tropical Storm Matthew has brought about heavy rains and strong gusty winds across Dominica.

Areas Affected: No reports on any communities being affected at this time. However, the west coast in particular (Scottshead to Capuchin are affected by rough seas)

Damages: No significant damage reported

Causalities: No deaths, no missing or injured persons have been reported at this time

Welfare: None of the shelters has been opened. However, shelter managers have been alerted and are on standby. No evacuation of persons or community has been done.

Police report that all stations are manned and ready to respond.

MET Service continues to monitor and provide advisories as they become available and the ODM continues to monitor radio communications.

Fire Services – no significant reports at this time.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)- The CERT in the Laplaine area reported experiencing winds, light rain however, no report of damage in this area. There is no electricity in the Laplaine area.

Public Works reported cleaning of massive tree at Elmshall and Morne Prosper. The Public Works Department also indicated the following:

  • Machines are on standby
  • Falling trees have been reported due to high winds
  • Rivers swollen
  • Road access is good
  • There is no electricity in the north and south east part of the country

Grenada

The following update was provided by the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) in Grenada

  • The NEOC was deactivated based on information from the National Emergency Advisory Council that the weather system no longer posed a threat to Grenada.
  • Some staff are stationed at the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) and others are on standby.
  • NaDMA is in constant communication with the various districts

-there is some rain fall and light gusts but nothing out of the ordinary
- one district reported winds of up to 40mph
- no reports of land slippage or flooding

  • Received an 11am bulletin that Grenada was not on the Tropical Storm list but the Met. Office continued a severe weather bulletin for Grenada
  • Communicated they received a call from the Sub-Regional Focal Point (ODPM) – Trinidad at 1pm.
  • NaDMA Grenada attended online CDEMA update briefing on the weather system

Saint Lucia

The National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) in Saint Lucia informed of the following:

  • NEMO partially activated the NEOC at 7am on September 28, 2016 and is under 24hr operation
  • All businesses and Private Sector business closed at midday September 28, 2016
  • Schools were closed today
  • National & District committees put on alert since yesterday (Tuesday, September 27, 2016)
  • Prime Minister (Ag) Hon. Lenard Montoute addressed the nation based on advice from NEMO and the Met. Office
  • NEMO is in constant communication with the Prime Minister (Ag) and the National Emergency Management Advisory Committee (NEMAC)
  • There has been regular dissemination of Press Releases via all media (Whatsapp, Email, Television, Radio, SMS (FLOW and Digicel)

Areas expected to be worse affected - The areas below were identified based on past experience:

  • West Coast – Soufriere, Canaries and Anse-la-raye
  • East Coast – Dennery and Bexon/Marc

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Reports from the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO), St. Vincent and the Grenadines indicate the following:

  • Receiving moderate showers but no gusty winds
  • Shelters activated since yesterday (Tuesday, September 27, 2016)
  • 78 individuals in shelters (on mainland)
  • Entire country shut down at 11am today; Airport closed at midday
  • Schools remain closed
  • NEOC activated yesterday (Tuesday, September 28, 2016) at 6pm
  • National Emergency Advisory Council met yesterday at 9am and the meeting was chaired by Prime Minister (Ag) Montgomery Daniel.
  • Union Island is experiencing heavy rains and slight gusty winds
  • NEMO making contact with other islands

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago experienced minor street flooding predominantly in Trinidad, reports from the island of Tobago are pending. As the sub regional focal point they have maintained communications with Grenada providing support where necessary. Trinidad and Tobago have also committed to supporting regional deployment should the need arise.

REGIONAL ACTIONS:

CDEMA continues 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 Regional Security System has placed the CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU) on standby. CDEMA has placed the CARICOM Disaster Assessment and Coordination (CDAC) team and CARICOM Operational Support Team (COST) 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 surge capacity in specialized technical areas to its Participating States and stands ready to respond as required. The Eastern Caribbean Development Partner Group on Disaster Management remains on alert and will convene a meeting at 9:00AM on Thursday September 29, 2016.

The partners of the Regional Response Mechanism continued to receive briefings today from the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) on the status of the system and an outlook for the next 48 hours. It should be noted that CIMH is not a forecasting agency but provides these briefings to the CDEMA CU to facilitate scenario planning at the regional and national levels.

CDEMA will continue to monitor the system and provide updates as necessary.

Sub-Regional Focal Points:

Antigua and Barbuda: The Director of the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) confirmed that a meeting was held with the Prime Minister and was briefed on the current situation in the region. Support to the Participating States under direct threat of TS Mathew was discussed. The search and rescue teams from the fire department and other emergency agencies were placed on alert. Specialised teams from Antigua and Barbuda, including military personnel will be made available for deployment should the need arise to any of the impacted Participating State.

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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