Caribbean: Hurricane Lili Information Bulletin No. 02/02
On Monday, 30 September 2002, Lili became the fourth hurricane of the 2002 season, after spending a week moving slowly across the Caribbean as a tropical storm. In the Windward Islands, Lili caused three deaths and extensive damage in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados and St..Lucia. From 28 September onwards, Lili brought heavy rains and strong winds to southwestern Haiti and Jamaica, before proceeding over the Cayman Islands towards the southwestern tip of Cuba, following the same path as Hurricane Isidore ten days previously, which had inflicted flooding and wind damage on Jamaica, Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula.
By 8 p.m. Santo Domingo time on 30 September Lili had strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane, and was progressing west-northwest at 17 km per hour. It is predicted to touch the extreme western tip of Cuba, after passing over Isla de la Juventud, on Tuesday 1 October 2002. Maximum sustained winds are near 130 km per hour (80 mph). Some additional strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours. Hurricane force winds extend outwards up to 30 km (15 miles) from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 220 km (140 miles).
A hurricane warning remains in effect for the Cayman Islands and for the Cuban provinces of Matanzas, Ciudad de la Habana, la Habana, Piñar del Rio and Isla de la Juventud, while the rest of the country remains under tropical storm warning. The government of Mexico has issued a tropical storm watch from Cozumel to Progresso on the Yucatan Peninsula. So far, Hurricane Lili has brought heavy rain and flooding to the Cayman Islands and the eastern part of Cuba.
Heavy rain has also affected Jamaica, specially in the parishes of St Thomas, St Anne, St Andrew, Trelawny, St Catherine, St Elizabeth, and the capital, Kingston., causing disruptions in water and electricity supplies, and closing bridges and roads. Four deaths have been so far reported. 19 shelters have been opened, to which approximately 700 persons have been evacuated.
Red Cross/Red Crescent Action
In the Eastern Caribbean, all four National Societies if countries affected by Tropical Storm Lili have responded, working in close collaboration with their respective national emergency mechanisms (for details see Information Bulletin No. 1 on Tropical Storm Lili). There have been no requests for assistance from the Federation to date.
Although Hurricane Lili is not directly affecting the country, Haitian National Red Cross Society branches in the south west of the country are on the alert after a week of heavy rain. The Federation Delegate in Port-au-Prince remains in close contact with the HNRCS, and with delegates from the Netherlands Red Cross and Spanish Red Cross based in Haiti.
In Cuba, the country is still coping with the impact of Hurricane Isidore, which affected the western tip of the island last week, causing extensive flooding. The Cuban government has confirmed that the country has the capacity to cope with the needs of the two provinces affected, Piñar del Rio and Isla de la Juventud. In preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Lili, a hurricane alarm has been declared over the whole country and evacuations in the south west part of the island have already started. Flooding is expected to be severe, since Lili is predicted to affect the same area as Isidore, where week-old flooding has not yet subsided, and where the ground is saturated with water. The Cuban Red Cross is closely monitoring the advance of the hurricane and supporting local authorities with evacuation and communication, and assisting people in temporary shelters.
Jamaican RC Society branches have activated their emergency response system and are assisting evacuees and providing rescue services and psychological support. The RCS is managing temporary shelters while the government is providing food for the evacuated population.
The government of the Cayman Islands has issued a hurricane warning on 29 September and opened eighteen shelters as Lili reached the vicinity of the islands on the morning of the next day. The Red Cross on the Cayman Islands, an overseas branch of the British Red Cross, is providing First Aid coverage for thirteen of the shelters.
The Regional Delegation in Santo Domingo is monitoring the situation closely and is in communication with all affected and potentially affected areas. A Disaster Management Delegate is on stand-by at the Pan-American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) in Panama, ready for deployment to the Caribbean should the situation require such action.
For a full description of the National Society profiles, see www.ifrc.org
For further details please contact :
- The John Humphreys, Head of Regional Delegation,Santo Domingo ; Phone 00 1 809 567-3344 Ext.31; Fax 00 1 809 567 3595 ; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Leon Prop, Federation Desk Officer, Phone 41 22 730 4258; Fax 41 22 733 0395; email email@example.com
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.
External Relations Division