Initial Impacts in CDEMA Participating States as Hurricane Earl Continues to Strengthen as it Moves Across the Northern Leeward Islands

A Hurricane Warning is still in effect for Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla, Montserrat and the Virgin Islands. A Hurricane Warning in this instance means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 12 hours.

Hurricane Earl is a Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale.  Maximum winds are 110 mph (175 km/hr) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecasted.

At 8 a.m., the Centre of Hurricane Earl was located at Latitude 18.4 North, Longitude 62.9 West. Hurricane Earl is moving toward the west-northwest near 14 mph (22 km/hr). A turn toward the northwest is forecast on Tuesday.

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 50 miles (85 km) from the centre, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km).

Earl is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of four (4) to eight (8) inches over much of the Northern Leeward islands with possible isolated maximum amounts of twelve (12) inches.

Storm surge will raise water levels by as much as two (2) to four (4) feet above ground level, primarily near the coast in areas of onshore wind within the hurricane warning area.  The surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous battering waves.

Hurricane conditions are now spreading across the northern Leeward islands and will spread westward into the Virgin Islands later today.

On the forecast track the center of Earl will pass near or over the northernmost
Leeward islands this morning and near the Virgin Islands this afternoon and this evening. Earl is expected to become a major hurricane later today.

At 8:00 A.M. AST, none of the threatened states had issued an All Clear. The National Disaster Offices of CDEMA Participating States have provided the following initial information.

Hurricane Earl is currently affecting Anguilla with gusty winds and heavy rainfall.

The Department of Disaster Management continued to issue regular bulletins to the public throughout the night.

Regular communications have been maintained so far.

Antigua and Barbuda
High winds are still being experienced but little rainfall at this time.

Initial reports are of fallen trees and flooding is some areas.

A search and rescue operation was required in the early hours of the morning to save some persons who had not adhered to warnings.

Damage Assessment teams will be dispatched, once the All Clear is provided.

High winds and intermittent heavy rain is being experienced following overnight heavy rain.

Initial reports have highlighted two major areas for attention. These are flooding around the seaport and flooding at the bulk fuel terminal due to ghaut overflow.

Flooding is also reported in low lying areas mainly due to the blockage of ghauts.

In addition, some bridges and roads are blocked by debris. One road is reported to be washed out.

Mudslides and land slippages have also been reported in some areas.

St. Kitts and Nevis
Tropical Storm conditions are still being experienced over St. Kitts and Nevis characterized by heavy rain, gusty winds and sea swells.

So far reports are of downed utility poles and wires, damage to trees and one house fire.

Damages to the roof of some houses particularly shingle roofs is reported.

Flooding has been experienced in several areas, particularly in areas surrounding ghauts and water courses.

Temporary blockage of roads also reported.

Virgin Islands
The Department of Disaster Management remains on high alert, monitoring systems and providing weather releases. Weather releases and advisories are being issued to the population throughout the passage of Earl.

The National Emergency Operations Center was formally activated by His Excellency the Governor at 5pm yesterday August 30, 2010. Shelters have been opened.

The CDEMA Coordinating Unit (CU) has maintained communication with threatened states and continues to monitor the situation.  The CDEMA CU has also conducted its internal checks and stands ready to provide response support should this become necessary.

Email notification updates have been sent to Participating States and response partners.

Information Note #2 was prepared and issued on Tropical Storm Earl, effective 5:00 p.m. August 29, 2010.

The Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology continues to provide analysis on the storm’s development and probable effects on the islands for response scenario planning.

The Eastern Caribbean Donor Group co-chaired by CDEMA and the UN Resident Coordinator (ai) will convene this evening to discuss the impact of Hurricane Earl on the states and consider response options. These will be informed by the Damage Assessment being undertaken by the affected states and the emerging needs.

The Regional Response Mechanism remains on standby.

CONTACT DETAILS: The CDEMA CU 24-hour contact number 1(246) 425 0386