• CDEMA RNAT concludes field assessments in affected family Islands
  • Initial situation overview completed for Turks and Caicos Islands and detailed damage assessments ongoing
  • CDEMA Executive Director continues high level consultations in Nassau


On September 30th, 2015, Hurricane Joaquin became the tenth named hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season which affected the CDEMA Participating States of the Bahamas (southern and central Islands), the Turks and Caicos Islands and Haiti.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) and the National Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan remain activated.

Reports have been received from the NEOC. The damage assessments were supported by the CDEMA led Rapid Needs Assessment Teams (RNATs) deployed to Acklins Island, Crooked Island and Long Island.

Data on the damage and needs analysis is currently being collated at the NEOC. Additionally manpower is being sent in to assist with repairs and additional materials are being shipped to the impacted islands. NEMA has provided the following initial reports based on the collaborative efforts between the National Disaster Committees (NDC), Family Islands Disaster Consultative Committees, The Bahamas Information Services and the RNATs.

Acklins Island:

Electricity supply

  • A representative from the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) indicated that power in Spring Point has been restored and that the BEC has prioritized restoring power in the northern end of island and then the southern end.
  • Electricity restoration is expected by October 8, 2015


  • Roads are reportedly still flooded in areas and difficult to pass.
  • No shelters on the island were activated.


  • Island communication is severely hampered and by satellite phone only. There is no broadcast radio on the island.
  • The island’s main road has been compromised in 2 areas - at Lovely Bay (sections of the road have been damaged) and south of High school in Pompey Bay (impassable due to flood waters, and accessible only to trucks);
  • Telecommunications cell tower (BTC) is offline


  • Approximately 90% of the houses in Lovely Bay, Chester and Snug Corner were severely damaged or completed destroyed.

Water and sanitation

  • Selina point drinking treatment plant is not currently operational due to absence of electricity. Drinking water distribution to the 60 households of the settlement is however ongoing from water stored.
  • One privately owned drinking water (bottled water) plant in Spring Point is the source of almost all drinking water for the island. It is unclear whether the plant is currently functional.
  • Some areas in Salina Point are still flooded


  • No deaths, no injuries reported in Acklins Island.
  • There are 4 clinics in Acklins Island: Spring Point, Salina Point, Mason’s Bay, Chester’s Bay. Assessments to date:
  1. Spring Point Community Clinic: sea water entered the clinic, but there was no damage to the building. Clean-up of clinic was initiated. 2 refrigerators of the clinic are damaged and non-functional. Clinic generator is currently not operational. Electricity in the clinic was re-established Oct 6, 2015 but there is currently no water at the facility.
  2. Salina Point Clinic (south Acklins Island): Piped water is currently unavailable but a well water reserve exists at this health facility.

Emergency Response and Coordination

  • A relief staging area has been established at the community centre in the North of the island

Crooked Island:

Electricity Supply and Communications

  • There is no water, electricity or cellular communications

Housing and Infrastructure

  • Movement from the East to the West of the Island is constrained by a wide settlement of water 3-4 feet deep, passable by large trucks ONLY.
  • All houses in the areas assessed to date on the Eastern side of the island have severe roof damage
  • RFA Lyme Bay provided a quantity of plastic sheeting to the island on October 6, 2015
  • The Primary school in the area severely damaged
  • Air strip is operable. Bahamas Air landed October 7, 2015 AM
  • Main port is inoperable

Water, Sanitation and Health
PAHO undertook an assessment on October 6, 2015 and reported:

  • There have been zero deaths on Crooked Island.
  • The clinic was utilized as a temporary shelter for at least 20 persons following the impact of Hurricane Joaquin.
  • The Satellite clinic at Colonel Hill has been destroyed.
  • Water is heavily contaminated with fecal matter due to seepage from septic tanks
  • Water from wells is not suitable for drinking
  • Many breeding sites for vectors have been observed in open water cisterns, water storage tanks and in marsh areas
  • Satellite tower collapsed across part of the clinic compound.

Long Island:

Water Sanitation and Health
Clinics in south of island damaged/not in use.

  • Level 3 damage to Clarence Town Community Clinic.
  • A temporary clinic has been established at the Community Centre where primarily follow up of Non Communicable Disease (NCD) clients, mental health clients, and clients with minor injuries are being seen. Relief is being sent from Nassau for resident clinic staff.

o Simms and Deadman’s Cay Community Clinics in north of island fully functional
o Need for psychosocial support identified on Long Island
o Medical services are functioning at adequate levels to meet the needs of communities; and supplies are available for medical treatment;
o Potable water supplies are adequate at present
o Routine household sewage management systems are still functional in intact houses once water is available
o Waste collection has been disrupted by closed roads, but is anticipated to improve with re-opening of roads as water settles and debris clears
o Stagnant water along roads may promote certain mosquito species

Housing and Infrastructure
Sand Pond to Clarence Town: Impact most significant.

  • Several buildings with level 2 and level 3 damages - The main cause of damage to the buildings is the high winds. In flooded low lying areas, several houses were observed to be damaged due to the high water level – see map 2

    Stella Maris to Salt Pond:
  • Minor damage to housing, roads and power poles
  • All damage to housing is categorised as level 1, principally the loss of roofing
  • Debris remains on the roads from flooding
  • Power lines have been downed in some areas due to broken power poles

Salt Pond:

  • Quay structure is intact
  • Part of the loading/un-loading ramp partly damaged

Coastal Assessment

  • The southern portion of the island (i.e. south of Salt Pond) was observed to have suffered increasing severity of storm surge through to Clarence Town.
  • Preliminary indications are that the local fishing fleet in Clarence Town has been essentially destroyed
  • Coastal Infrastructure damage observed in Salt pond, Grays, Deadman’s Cay, Petty’s and Scrub Hill include dock damage, flooded homes, persistently high turbidity within the marine environment could impact coral reefs negatively. (see map 3)
  • Environmental Impacts observed including beach erosion, damage and some displacement of mangrove vegetation, seagrass (i.e. Thalassia sp.) deposited on the shoreline, and coastline littered with debris consisting of building material.

Rum Cay:

  • Poles and lines are down.

San Salvador:

  • Cell Sites are now functional. Poles and lines are down. Some repairs are underway. Power station roof damaged and generators need to be dried out and tested.

The following Islands suffered no major impacts, and water supplies are being maintained as usual: Abaco, Andros, Eleuthera, Ragged Island, Bimini, Berry Islands, Mayaguana.

INITIAL NEEDS (specifications and quantities being finalized)
The following needs have been identified by NEMA:

Acklins Island:

  • Back-up power
  • Bottled water

Crooked Island:

  • Bottled water
  • Housing: Plywood, plastic sheeting, tarpaulin
  • Fuel: Diesel and gasoline
  • Ground transportation
  • Communications: VHF and HF Radios; satellite phones to facilitate communication with NEMA EOC
  • Diesel manual pumps and storage drums

Long Island

  • Building materials


The Initial Situational Overview [ISO] took place from October 1 – 4, 2015. It was conducted for all islands through the District Commissioners, DDME and Public Works Department (PWD).

Detailed Sector Assessments (DSA) throughout the islands, in particular for North Caicos, Grand Turk and Providenciales commenced on Monday October 5, 2015. It is expected that these assessments will continue into the following week.

Initial reports and assessments indicated the following impacts:

Infrastructure Sector

  • Storm surge and torrential rainfall resulted in flooding and damages to infrastructure throughout the islands.
  • Essential roadways in some areas became partially to fully impassable (Causeway/Bypass, Fish Pond Road Middle Caicos, heading into Five Cays Providenciales, Front Street Grand Turk). Damage to roadways could account for about 90% of the total damage and loss.
  • North Caicos-Middle Caicos Causeway – minor damages
  • North Caicos-Middle Caicos Bypass – moderate damages. Sections of the bypass were washed away. Bypass was subsequently closed for approximately two (2) days until the severe weather passed allowing temporary repairs to be made.
  • Dean’s Dock, Salt Cay and Belfield Landing North Caicos – minor to moderate damages to docks
  • Grand Turk Seawall / retaining wall on Front Street – partially collapsed. Continued undermining/deterioration is occurring due to storm surges and extensive wave action. This therefore compromises exiting historical buildings, churches and Parliament building that line Front Street. Front Street is now closed from Lime to Tourist Board.
  • Several homes and buildings in coastal areas reported flooding and/or leaking roofs due the storm.

Transportation Sector

  • The Providenciales International Airport was closed for approximately 2 days. This was primarily a result of resulting damage to the Airport’s weather station.
  • After replacing the faulty equipment with a weather station from the DDME, the Airport resumed operations on October 3, 2015.

Agriculture Sector

  • In North Caicos, the agricultural sector also suffered minor damage, as the Government Farm loss plants and crops as a result of flooding to the farm.
  • Initial assessments in the agricultural sector indicate loss of crops (vegetable and fruit trees). A detailed sector analysis will be undertaken.

Environmental Sector

  • Islands such as South Caicos and Grand Turk have experienced significant depositing of seaweed along coastlines.
  • Coastal erosion has taken place in Grand Turk (Governors’ Beach to Front Street), Providenciales (Long Bay), and Salt Cay.
  • The Department of Environment and Maritime Affairs (DEMA) is tasked with conducting beach profiles to determine the level of impact and the cost for cleanup/rehabilitation.

Economic Sector

  • Bank and Government Offices (non-essential services) throughout the TCI were closed on October 1, 2015.
  • Banks and business on Grand Turk were able to return to normal operations on October 2, 2015; whilst such businesses remained closed on Providenciales.
  • The Providenciales International Airport was also closed during this time.

Education Sector

  • Schools throughout the TCI were closed on October 1, 2015.


  • On September 29, 2015 a wooden Haitian sloop sunk, whilst at anchor at the Grand Turk South Base Dock.
  • The wooden boat caused a debris field that stretched from the Governor’s Beach to the Grand Turk Cruise Port.
  • North Caicos reported three (3) boats anchored at Belfield Landing were also impacted.

The Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) remains activated. Regional response actions have been undertaken in accordance with the Regional Coordination Plan and the CDEMA Operational Plan for Hurricane Joaquin.

CDEMA deployed RNATs in response to a request from NEMA, Bahamas following the passage of Hurricane Joaquin. The RNATs were deployed to Long Island, Crooked Island and Acklins Island on Monday, October 5th 2015 to support the efforts of NEMA. Each team is being led by CDEMA and supported by representatives from the following CDEMA Participating States and other Regional and International agencies:

  • Barbados
  • Jamaica
  • Virgin Islands (British)
  • Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)
  • Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO)
  • Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
  • The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Canada

The RNATs have completed assessments on Acklins Island, Crooked Island and Long Island.

In support of regional efforts, the Government of the United Kingdom has continued support through the RFA Lyme Bay in the areas of damage assessment and distribution of relief supplies to Acklins Island, Crooked Island and Mayaguana.

Relief supplies were sourced through the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Jamaica (the North Western Sub-Regional Disaster Emergency Response Operational Unit of the CDEMA 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