Report from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) as of 9:00PM AST 7th September 2017

Friday, September 8, 2017 — Powerful category 5 Hurricane Irma continues to impact CDEMA Participating States while Hurricane Jose poses threat to Northern Leeward Islands.

Progress Updates:

  • One military plane from Venezuela carrying emergency relief supplies and personnel landed in Antigua last night (6th Sep) at 8:30pm.
  • 300 persons evacuated from Barbuda and ferry continues this morning however sea conditions are deteriorating as Hurricane Jose approaches.
  • Martinique President Alfred Marie-Jeanne has sent firemen into Saint Martin to assist in the road clearance efforts and has instructed assistance to Dutch Sint Maarten.
  • Cuban team of electricity linesman due to arrive in Antigua yesterday (6th Sep) 3am.

Hurricane Irma Appeal

  • Persons wishing to donate to will be able to do so through a fundraising drive which will be opened shortly. Please see OECS Website shortly  for details on how you can make a valuable contribution.




On Thursday September 07, 2017 at 800 PM EDT (0000 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 21.1 North, longitude 71.8 West. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days with some decrease in forward speed. Maximum sustained winds remain near 175 mph (280 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days.


The National Hurricane Center (NHC) indicates that on the forecast track, the eye of Irma should continue to move near the Turks and Caicos Islands and toward the southeastern Bahamas this evening, Thursday September 07, 2017. The core of the hurricane will then move between the north coast of Cuba and the Bahamas during the next day or two. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km). The minimum central pressure based on data from the Air Force plane is 919 mb (27.14 inches).

The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology provided CDEMA with an impact analysis:

The models of the CIMH are in agreement with the NHC’s projections for precipitation, wind and wave heights expected as a result of the passage of Irma, Specifically CIMH impact analysis indicate:

FLOOD/LANDSLIDE: Satellite-based rainfall estimates show 24 hr rainfall in excess of 200-300 mm. Rainfall amounts likely to be enhanced due to local topographic conditions. Projections suggest rainfall accumulations in excess of 400mm. Intense rainfall activity could lead to flash flooding, dangerous river conditions, landslides, debris flows in northern Haiti and will result in dangerous life threatening conditions in the Turks and Caicos and southern Bahamas. Flooding likely to be significantly enhanced within coastal bays due to expected runoff, wave run up, storm surge and tides especially considering the flat topography.

WIND: Hurricane force winds with extremely strong gusts in areas of thunderstorms. Hurricane force winds are very dangerous especially in elevated areas and will produce significant damages to infrastructure and life threatening conditions

WAVES: Significant wave heights likely to exceed 8 metres. Storm surge in excess of 4 m, rough/treacherous seas and damaging waves are imminent, leading to inundation and damages along coastlines and to coastal infrastructure especially in the Turks and Caicos and the Southern Bahamas. Areas to the south could experience rough sea conditions.


Hurricane Warning is in effect for…

  • • Haiti from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to Le Mole St. Nicholas
  • • Southeastern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands
  • • Central Bahamas
  • • Northwestern Bahamas

Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…

  • • Haiti from south of Le Mole St. Nicholas to Port-Au-Prince


At 800 PM AST (0000 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Jose was located near latitude 15.6 North, longitude 53.2 West. Jose is moving toward the west-northwest near 18 mph (30 km/h). The hurricane is expected to continue on this heading with a slight decrease in forward speed during the next couple of days. On the forecast track, Jose is expected to be near the northern Leeward Islands on Saturday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 120 mph (195 km/h) with higher gusts. Jose is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some strengthening is forecast during the next day or so. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km). The estimated minimum central pressure is 966 mb (28.53 inches).


A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…

  • Antigua and Barbuda

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…

  • Anguilla, Montserrat, St Kitts, and Nevis
  • Saba and St. Eustatius




Initial reports only are emerging from impacted CDEMA Participating States as of September 7, 2017. These have revealed the following:


  • One confirmed fatality
  • Approximately 90% of the electricity infrastructure was damaged
  • Significant damage to main water supply
  • 90% of government buildings and business structures suffered damage
  • The airport runway and most roads leading to the airport have been cleared of debris
  • British troops supported refurbishment of two shelters damaged during the hurricane
  • The UK providing a twelve (12) man liaison and reconnaissance operating team. Four to be deployed to the territory and 8 to remain in Barbados to provide further military assistance
  • The RFA Mounts Bay is supporting the response efforts in Anguilla


No immediate needs were identified


  • NEOC destroyed and temporarily relocated to the 911 Centre
  • Four (4) confirmed dead
  • The airport is operational but the tower has been compromised


  • Support with communications especially to re-connect persons with families to let them know they are safe
  • Emergency relief supplies: food, cots tarpaulins, water
  • Infrastructure – electricity and water
  • Security – this was flagged as a critical need due to instances of looting



  • Successful evacuation of over 1000 persons from family islands projected to be impacted
  • EOC was activated yesterday evening, Wednesday September 06, 2017


  • The center of Irma was predicted to pass over the islands of the southern Bahamas. In addition the island of New Providence, which houses the capital, it is expected to experience tropical storm conditions. It is therefore possible that the ALL CLEAR for the northern portion of the Bahamas is not provided until Next Tuesday
  • In that context there will be a delay for both assessment and assistance from the capital, Nassau
  • Request is therefore being made for aerial reconnaissance of the southern Bahamas to ascertain whether the air strips are usable. These islands are:o Mayaguana

o Great Inagua

o Crooked Islands

o Ragged Island

o Acklins

o Southern Long Island

Assistance is also requested for supplies of food, water and tarpaulin to be provided to islands in the south based on the needs identified through the reconnaissance

  • CDEMA requested the sharing of satellite phone numbers to ensure contact was maintained


  • The weather conditions had started to deteriorate as it was already overcast with light rain
  • All island EOCs were activated at 5PM, Wednesday September 06, 2017
  • Shelters were also opened at 5PM, Wednesday September 06, 2017

Evacuation order was undertaken for:

  • Salt Cay (99 persons)
  • Middle Caicos (200 persons)

The decision was made to move the NEOC headquarters to an alternative location due to concerns about the structural integrity of the building


  • Anticipated needs are emergency relief supplies including tarpaulin


  • At 5AM this morning, September 07, 2017 the northeast of the country began experiencing light rains and by 7:15AM this had advanced to moderate rains
  • Rivers flowing into Haiti from The Dominican Republic had already began to rise
  • Haiti also indicated that the Haiti Meteorological Services advised that the eye of Irma will pass further north of Haiti than initially forecast. However, the northern sections of Haiti (5 departments) are under threat and the entire country is on alert
  • The country is in a state of Red Alert for Hurricane Irma. The NEOC and the EOCS in each of the ten (10) departments have been activated.
  • Government and private sector have supported the pre-deployment of basic supplies in three (3) key departments which were due to be impacted
  • Mandatory evacuations were undertaken in coastal areas particularly in the north
  • The government of Haiti has allocated $2M gourds (US $32,000) for each of the ten (10) departments to be accessed immediately after the impact to provide support for the first two days. These funds will be managed by the Ministry of Finance who has an Officer in each department. After this, the government will decide whether there will be a need to access international assistance
  • The President and Prime minister visited the EOC Yesterday, Wednesday September 6, 2017



CDEMA Coordinating Unit

  • An initial CDRU deployment was made to the BVI via two (2) RSS aircrafts. The team comprised 9 soldiers from the Barbados Defence Force (BDF)
  • An eighteen (18) member combined RNAT and COST/CDAC deployment was made to Anguilla and the BVI led by the CDEMA Coordinating Unit and comprised members of Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), Engineers from the Barbados Association of Professional Engineering, Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), UNDAC, DFID CHASE and PAHO. The teams were deployed at 6:15pm, Thursday September 07, 2017 to Antigua via LIAT
  • The 5th meeting of the RRM Partners was convened today, Thursday September 7, 2017 at 1:15pm at the CDEMA Coordinating Unit. The meeting was chaired by CDEMA’s Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director. Approximately forty seven (47) participants from regional and international donor, humanitarian and development agencies were represented.

ODPEM – Jamaica

  • Will be able to provide a 200 member DART team, 100 prepped and ready for deployment
  • Two (2) members ready for CDRU and DANA on standby
  • Jamaica in its capacity as Sub-regional Focal Point (SRFP) for the Northwestern sub region has placed on stand-by a 100 JDF DART team. CDAC and COST teams are also on standby to provide support to the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI)

NODS – Antigua and Barbuda

  • Antigua and Barbuda in the execution of their responsibilities as SRFP is the staging area for the regional response Anguilla and BVI


  • Two (2) emergency telecommunications specialist on stand-by


  • Continue to provide the RRM with daily briefings on weather systems and impact analysis

Regional Security System (RSS)

  • Two (2) aircrafts from the Airwing of the RSS supported the initial CDRU deployment and transport of CDRU equipment
  • Two (2) Barbados Defence Coast Guard vessels on standby for deployment after the passage of Jose
  • Logistical support in coordinating the movement of supplies The RSS is willing to coordinate movement of supplies
  • The RSS Airwing available to provide additional airlift support before the passage of Jose


European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)

  • An emergency support team is on standby

Global Affairs Canada (GAC)

  • Two airport specialists are on standby
  • Schooner Ruth sail boat is available for deployment after the passage of Jose

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

  • Maintaining contact with TCI and Nassau
  • PAHO consultant completed a pre-impact assessment of the hospital in TCI
  • Deployed a three (3) member team; one specialist in support of the CDEMA led RNAT and two (2) specialists to support the environmental health conditions in Barbuda
  • Deployed two teams to Anguilla and St Maarten to support preparations for the passage of Jose


Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

  • Emergency expert stationed in Haiti to conduct agricultural assessments post impact

International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

  • Emergency telecommunications equipment available for dispatch – 20 iridium SAT phones, 50-60 additional SAT phones and BGANS for use in Haiti. Available for immediate deployment as needed.

United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF)

  • Has authorized the release of emergency supplies out of Antigua and Panama
  • Willing to assist on the areas of education, water and sanitation, school refurbishment and child protection
  • A UNICEF WASH expert was deployed with RNAT team to Antigua for onward deployment to Anguilla and BVI


  • The Government of the United Kingdom has pledged £32 million in aid and the C17 airplane has been dispatched to provide support to the British overseas territories. A UK Army Needs Assessment team has been deployed to the BVI

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (UN OCHA)

  • Deployed six (6) UNDAC specialists in support of the CDEMA led RNAT to Antigua
  • A seven (7) person team deployed to Jamaica for TCI and Bahamas to augment capacity in Haiti and Dominican Republic


  • Identified social protection specialist for deployment to support RNAT
  • Dignity kits 100 per unit


  • The government of Bahamas has made a request for assistance and support will be provided through the IFRC
  • UNDAC is in Kingston on standby and teams are also in St. Barts and Anguilla

World Food Programme (WFP)

  • To provide communications and logistics support

CDEMA continues to monitor the system and provide updates as necessary.

CDEMA continues to monitor the system and provide updates as necessary.
CONTACT DETAILS: The CDEMA CU 24-hour contact number 1(246) 434-4880​

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