Caribbean: Hurricane Ivan Information Bulletin No. 2
This Information Bulletin (no. 02/2004) is being issued for information only. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.
Hurricane Ivan strengthened once again this morning Tuesday, 7 September, into a category 3 storm and passed south of the island of Barbados with fierce winds, ripping off roofs and cutting power; however, the island was not hit directly. The storm, with winds of up to 90 mph, uprooted trees and left a trail of debris. At mid morning, Ivan was heading towards the island of Tobago and was located 45 miles north east of the island. Populations in low lying coastal areas of Tobago were evacuated to shelters and over 560 people were accommodated in seven shelters on the island on Tuesday morning; most schools and businesses were closed on both Trinidad and Tobago. Ivan's centre is expected to pass north of Tobago where hurricane force winds are forecast to impact the island later today. Ivan could also hit Grenada or the Grenadines. Several hundred people from low-lying area of Saint George's, the Grenadian capital, were evacuated in anticipation of potential flooding. In Saint Lucia, there are particular concerns regarding the storm's possible effects on the region's banana industry. A hurricane warning is in effect for Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and a tropical storm watch was issued for Martinique, Saint Lucia and Barbados. Forecasters now predict that Ivan could become a category 4 Hurricane late Tuesday and will approach Jamaica by Friday, 10 September, moving towards Cuba during the weekend.
Red Cross and Red Crescent action
The Barbados Red Cross Society informs that there no reports of casualties; the island is still being battered by rain and high gusts of wind and there are power outages. Shelters were opened and Red Cross first aid volunteers assigned. Reports from the shelters are still awaited.
The Grenada Red Cross Society reports that all businesses were closed and the National Emergency Operations Centre was activated overnight (6 September); shelters were opened where around 450 people are currently accommodated. The number is expected to rise as Hurricane Ivan continues its trajectory during the day. Grenada Red Cross volunteers are being assigned to the shelters and the National Society is assisting the National Emergency Relief Organization with distributions.
The Saint Lucia Red Cross reports that shelters have not yet been opened. However, community disaster response teams formed under the Federation's DIPECHO IV project are liaising in their communities to coordinate preparedness and response initiatives.
In Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the airport and sea ports have been closed since Monday evening, 6 September. Shelters have been opened and Red Cross first aid volunteers have been deployed. Community disaster response teams have been activated and are operating in their communities. Heavy rain was beginning to fall in the early morning.
The Tobago branch of the Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross Society is on standby to assist the fire service and the defence force with emergency evacuations. Some parts of Tobago are suffering from power failures. The island of Trinidad is experiencing rains and periodic gusts of wind. The National Society is making arrangements to reach Tobago as soon as the airport opens. It is anticipated that an ambulance driver and several Red Cross first aid volunteers will be sent from Trinidad to boost volunteer numbers in Tobago. The Tobago branch of the Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross Society is represented on the Tobago Emergency Operations Centre in support of the national disaster management system. Resources include 25 volunteers on standby, two ambulances and emergency response equipment. Capacity is limited in terms of communications and the lack of a generator; a further constraint is a food shortage currently affecting Tobago.
A disaster management delegate from the Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) is on his way to Trinidad in order to facilitate coordination of response activities with the National Societies involved. The Port of Spain Sub Regional Office continues to monitor the situation in close cooperation with the Panama Regional Delegation. Four regional intervention team (RIT) members have been alerted for possible deployment.
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 support to or for further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at http://www.ifrc.org For longer-term programmes, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal.
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