Caribbean: Hurricane Ivan Information Bulletin No. 4
This Information Bulletin (no. 04/2004) is being issued based on the needs described below reflecting the information available at this time. CHF 100,000 has been allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) in order to ensure response in affected islands and in anticipation of Hurricane Ivan striking Jamaica and Cuba. Based on further updates and details from assessment reports as Hurricane Ivan continues its trajectory, the Federation will issue a request for international support through an Emergency Appeal.
Today, Thursday, 9 September, Hurricane Ivan which developed overnight into a category 5 storm, continues its course, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. This morning, Ivan was some 100 miles north east of Aruba and 535 miles south east of Jamaica. The hurricane is forecast to remain north of Aruba and then continue towards Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cuba. Hurricane warnings have been issued for Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, whilst a hurricane watch is in place in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. All schools in Jamaica are closed and fishermen have been called back from sea. Current predictions indicate that Ivan will make landfall on Friday or Saturday in Jamaica and then move towards Cuba. In 11 of the 14 provinces of Cuba, hurricane preparedness measures are now being put into place. Evacuation orders have been issued in the Florida Key today, 9 September, given that forecasters predict that the storm could strike the islands on Sunday. Ivan is the most powerful hurricane to hit the Caribbean in ten years.
Ivan affected Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Tuesday. In the Grenadines, reports indicate that the islands of Carriacou, Palm Island and Petit Martinique experienced widespread damage. A damage and needs assessment is currently taking place in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and further details will be available in due course. In Tobago, power has now been restored to around 60 per cent of the island. The Island of Grenada, with a population of 90,000 people, suffered a direct hit by the hurricane later in the day on Tuesday, causing major devastation. A national disaster has been declared in the island which has suffered significant damage to hous ing, from which roofs were ripped, or which has been totally reduced to rubble, together with flooding. It is reported that 90 per cent of homes and other properties have been damaged or totally destroyed. Saint George's, the capital of Grenada, has been devastated since Ivan destroyed the emergency operations centre, the Prime Minister's residence, the prison, as well as many schools, and also damaged the main hospital. Sixty people are hospitalized with injuries and four people have died. There is no water or electricity, and limited cell phone coverage on the island. Given the situation of chaos following the hurricane strike, there are major problems of looting. In support of the regional security system, a team is under deployment from Barbados to assist security officials in Grenada in restoring law and order.
Red Cross and Red Crescent action
Since Tuesday afternoon, all attempts to communicate directly with the Grenada Red Cross Society have failed. The headquarters of the National Society has been destroyed.
Trinidad and Tobago, the CDERA sub regional focal point for Grenada, has mobilized a ship to provide relief supplies to the island. The Caribbean Disaster Response Unit was mobilized and a rapid needs assessment team will arrive in Grenada this morning, 9 September. Personnel from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), USAID/OFDA UNICEF, UNIFEM and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States form part of the team. The Federation is also represented on the team with the participation of a member of the Port of Spain Sub Regional Office specialized in disaster response and preparedness, and a disaster management delegate from the Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU). It is hoped that further information regarding the damage and needs in Grenada, together with the situation of the Grenada Red Cross Society, will be available during the day.
The Cayman Islands Red Cross informs that a meeting of the National Hurricane Committee will be held this morning. The Jamaica Red Cross held meetings of the national disaster response teams last night and the teams were placed on alert. The National Society is working with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and shelter managers are on standby. Red Cross staff and volunteers are ready for immediate deployment and Red Cross branches are working closely with the Parishes Disaster Committee. This morning, the Federation deployed a disaster management expert from the Secretariat, together with an information and reporting delegate to Jamaica. PADRU, the Port of Spain Sub Regional Office and the Panama Regional Delegation are ensuring close coordination with the National Societies in the islands affected by Hurricane Ivan.
An Emergency Response Unit (ERU) alert for logistics and relief has been issued from the Secretariat, today, 9 September, together with a Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT) and Regional Intervention Team (RIT) alert. It is expected that a logistics ERU will be deployed to Miami tomorrow, 10 September, for onward mobilization in the Caribbean depending on developments.
It is expected that an Emergency Appeal will be issued tomorrow, 10 September, given significant needs in Grenada and other affected islands and in anticipation of Hurricane Ivan striking Jamaica and Cuba. All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.
For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:
In Panama: Nelson Castaño, Head, Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU), email email@example.com, phone (507) 316-1001, fax (507) 316-1082
In Port of Spain, Julian Gore-Booth, Sub Regional Coordinator, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org phone (1868) 627 2665; Fax (1868) 627 9627
In Geneva: Olaug Bergseth, Federation Regional Officer, Americas Department, Geneva; email: email@example.com, phone 41.22.730.45 35; fax 41.22.733.03.95
All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org