Hurricane Irma - Sep 2017
As of 1 September, [NOAA]’s National Hurricane Centre (NHC), stated that Hurricane Irma’s centre was located near latitude 18.8 north, longitude 39.1 west at 5 PM Atlantic Standard Time (AST) (2100 [UTC]). Irma was moving toward the west at around 13 mph (20 km/h). A turn toward the west-south-west was expected by 2 September 2017. Irma is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, as maximum sustained winds are near 120 mph (195 km/h), with higher gusts; while fluctuations in strength (up or down) are possible over the next few days, Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through the weekend. (IFRC, 1 Sep 2017)
Irma made landfall on northeast Caribbean islands during the early hours of 6 September, affecting Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, St Barthélemy, St. Martin, the Virgin Islands and other islands in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Thousands of people have been evacuated from at-risk areas. Irma is predicted to hit Puerto Rico in the night, before continuing to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas. There is continued risk of catastrophic damage from hurricane force winds, storm surge, and flooding in areas on Irma’s trajectory. Hurricane Irma is being slowly trailed by Hurricane Jose, which is moving very slowly in the Atlantic Ocean and is anticipated to affect the northern Leeward Islands. 49 million people directly in Irma’s projected path. (OCHA, 6 Sep 2017)
As of 13 September, OCHA reported that Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, St Martin/St Maarten, the British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos are the most affected islands and that critical needs in supplies and support were being addressed around the clock. In the Dominican Republic and Haiti, local authorities are managing response and restoration to normal activities in the affected areas with local resources. Cuba withstood damage to 13 of its 15 provinces, reporting 10 deaths and damage to agriculture, water supply, and telecommunications. Humanitarian partners continue to work and coordination with regional organizations and local governments throughout the affected countries as needs assessments continue to reveal the range and depth of the needs caused by Irma. (OCHA, 13 Sep 2017)
As of 2 October, the Office of UN Resident Coordinator in Cuba reported that there were 158,554 houses damaged, 980 health institutions affected, 95,000 hectares of agricultural land damaged and more than 500 kilometers of roads damaged. The most affected provinces were Camagüey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spíritus, and Villa Clara. Other territories, such as Guantánamo, Holguín, Las Tunas, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Mayabeque, and Havana, were also damaged by the hurricane. (UN ORC in Cuba, 2 Oct 2017)
As of 2 November, in the territories affected by Hurricane Irma, attention is being paid to the affected population with priority being placed on households with young children, pregnant women, persons with disabilities and the elderly, and those whose houses were completely destroyed. Along with the recovery of the housing, health and education sectors, and the production of food, actions are being taken to repair damaged hotel facilities at Santa María, Coco, and Guillermo keys, in the wake of the tourist high season that began on November 1st. (UN ORC in Cuba, 2 Nov 2017)
As of 30 November, WFP continues to provide assistance to the populations affected by Hurricane Irma in Central Cuba (Camagüey, Ciego de Ávila, Matanzas, Sancti Spíritus and Villa Clara provinces). To date, WFP assisted 637,000 people with rice and beans, thanks to the foods stocks already prepositioned in the country for a potential disaster response. The distribution of vegetable oil is underway. WFP also suppors national and local authorities with mobile storage units to strengthen food protection capacities. (WFP, 30 Nov 2017)
Three months after the destructive hurricane Irma, the traces left on the northern coast of Cuba are still being felt in the affected provinces, where the basic conditions and livelihood of millions of people were affected. (UN ORC in Cuba, 15 Dec 2017)
As of 12 December, only 10% of the population (about 200 residents) of Barbuda has returned, with the remainder of the affected population in emergency shelters or host communities in Antigua. The Government of Antigua & Barbuda have announced that the remaining emergency shelters will be closed in mid-December and that schooling on Barbuda will resume in January. These efforts are to encourage displace residents to return to Barbuda and begin the recovery process. (IFRC, 12 Dec 2017)
As of 17 January 2018, Barbuda, which was evacuated following the devastation left in the path of Hurricane Irma, remains largely uninhabited despite efforts of the Antigua and Barbuda Government to encourage the return of the 1,600 residents of the island. Fewer than 100 people, including an unconfirmed number of children, have resettled on the island resulting in Government opening more long-term shelter facilities in Antigua. (IFRC, 17 Jan 2018)
In Anguilla, by January 2018, 78 per cent of the population has restored access to water, all school- aged children are back in school but nearly 40 per cent of the population remains without electricity services. (UNICEF, 2 Mar 2018)
Appeals & Response Plans
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba (The Netherlands)
- British Virgin Islands
- Dominican Republic
- Guadeloupe (France)
- Martinique (France)
- Puerto Rico (The United States of America)
- Saint Barthélemy (France)
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Martin (France)
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Sint Maarten (The Netherlands)
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- United States Virgin Islands
Maps & Infographics
By Hler Gudjonsson IFRC
“Irma destroyed my boat, my home and my restaurant, all at the same time,” said 45 years old Arthur Walter, one of 32 fishermen on the island of Barbuda who have received cash assistance from the Red Cross for restoring their fishing boats.
This revised Emergency Appeal seeks a total of approximately CHF 9.7 million, reflecting a budget increase from CHF 7,570,948 in Emergency Appeal n°1 from 29 September 2017.
The hurricane season began for the Pacific on May 15 and for the Atlantic it is expected to begin on June 1. However, the first Atlantic storm was identified on Friday, May 25 with the name of Alberto.
Latin America and the Caribbean are one of the regions most prone to disasters due to tropical storms and hurricanes that regularly devastate coastal communities and often cause landslides and floods.
Getting lenders to extend loans or provide interest forgiveness would free up money for climate-resilient development
By Sophie Hares
GRAND ANSE, Grenada, May 31 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Caribbean nations weighed down by debts must find ways to restructure what they owe to free up money for investment in climate-change resilience and disaster protection, country leaders said on Thursday.
Building more resilient infrastructure takes times and money - both of which are short, say island leaders
By Sophie Hares
GRAND ANSE, Grenada, May 31 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The onset of hurricane season this week could prove disastrous for Caribbean nations that were slammed by storms last year and are still struggling to rebuild in the face of funding shortfalls, said regional leaders.
Plan Includes Fixing Churches and Homes and Bringing a New Power Source to One Hard-Hit Community
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, May 29, 2018—As hurricane season approaches people across Puerto Rico are still reeling from last year’s devastating storms—Irma and Maria. That’s why international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse is announcing a multi-year recovery plan aimed at rehabilitating more than 390 homes and 55 churches in central and southern Puerto Rico.
Wednesday, May 30 – The impact of the 2017 hurricane season on member states of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) was reviewed at a two day After Action Review (AAR) meeting on May 28 and 29.
During this meeting, health representatives from the impacted countries of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Maarten, Turks and Caicos Islands and the BVI also developed a plan for improving health response in the Caribbean region.
With the hurricane season looming, we met with Sint Maarten’s Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin to hear her views on how resilience has become the key priority for her island and for the region.
The goal of this evaluation is to improve the understanding of the Urban Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) programming carried out in Latin America and The Caribbean, and supported by the United States Agency for International Development's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA). The study focused on eight DRR projects awarded by USAID in Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, and Peru, between FY2012 and FY2016.
BY: CHRIS MORRILL
“I don’t believe in charity. I believe in solidarity. Charity is so vertical. It goes from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other person. I have a lot to learn from other people.” — Eduardo Galeano, author of Open Veins of Latin America
It has been six months since the end of last year’s hurricane season, and the Caribbean is still picking up the pieces.
Release date: May 23, 2018
Release Number: 133
ST. CROIX, Virgin Islands – The Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that additional disaster assistance is available to the U.S. Virgin Islands. The assistance allows for additional federal funding for debris removal, emergency protective measures, hazard mitigation and permanent infrastructure restoration as a result of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
This action authorizes the following additional assistance:
Major challenges include improving the city's drinking water supply and waste management system
By Sophie Hares
TEPIC, Mexico, May 23 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The Dominican Republic's second city is bracing for hurricane season with a new evacuation plan after storms last year killed around 90 people, said its chief resilience officer.
ATLANTA (May 22, 2018) – AbbVie, a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, today announced a donation of $100 million to two organizations, Habitat for Humanity International and Direct Relief, to strengthen access to housing and healthcare in Puerto Rico. The organizations will receive $50 million each. This donation is an extension of the more than $4 million AbbVie provided following the unprecedented natural disasters of 2017.
A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
In early September 2017, Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean islands of Anguilla, Barbuda, British and United States Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Saint Martin/Sint Maarten. Irma, classified as a category 5 hurricane was the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic, with wind speeds of more than 185 miles per hour (298 km/hour) and torrential rainfall. Irma struck Barbuda in the early morning hours of 6 September 2017.
Todavía sin sanar completamente las heridas causadas hace ocho meses por el huracán Irma, esta provincia alista condiciones para enfrentar el inicio de la nueva temporada ciclónica mejor preparada en todos los órdenes
CAMAGÜEY. — Todavía sin sanar completamente las heridas causadas hace ocho meses por el huracán Irma, esta provincia alista condiciones para enfrentar el inicio de la nueva temporada ciclónica mejor preparada en todos los órdenes.
The BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) is advising patrons and the public that the Road Town Jetty will resume full operations on Sunday, May 13.
Immediately following the passage of Hurricane Irma in September 2017, with the assistance of divers and speciality contractors, surveys were completed on all of the Territory’s port facilities. The Road Town Jetty was deemed unusable for international travel upon inspection and services have since temporarily continued from the Tortola Pier Park Tender Dock for travel to and from the United States Virgin Islands.
Release date: May 11, 2018
Release Number: 128
U. S. Virgin Islands – Virgin Islanders still facing the loss of homes, businesses or cherished possessions in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria may find themselves struggling to cope with the emotional impact of the disaster and acknowledgement of the upcoming hurricane season. Local, territory and federal officials are urging survivors to be aware of the signs of emotional stress and seek help if they are feeling overwhelmed.
The Government of the Virgin Islands signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the National Bank of the Virgin Islands (NBVI) today as efforts heighten to assist property owners in the rebuilding of their properties.
The agreement facilitates funds being deposited with the bank and the disbursement to beneficiaries approved by the Ministry of Health and Social Development who leads the Housing Assistance Programme.
Road Town, Virgin Islands – 12 April 2018 – The UN Development Programme (UNDP) will support the Government of the British Virgin Islands with the implementation of US$65million Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), following an agreement signed here today.
This revised Emergency Appeal seeks a total of 3,372,790 Swiss francs, reflecting a budget increase from CHF 2,635,276 Swiss francs in the revised Emergency Appeal from 6 October 2017.