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
The Caribbean is moving closer to a much-needed regional strategy to strengthen people-centred early warning systems across the islands. This is vital to improve the preparedness and response to major natural hazards, according an expert review of the devastating 2017 hurricane season.
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.
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.
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.
Release Number: 160
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – As Puerto Rico explores how to rebuild after back-to-back Category 4 hurricanes, the people who will collaborate on those solutions were asked to envision innovative construction methods that will have a real and lasting impact.
"True innovation can change and transform the course of Puerto Rico," said Glorimar Ripoll, chief innovation officer for the government of Puerto Rico. "We are not just rebuilding bridges, buildings, roads and houses. We’re also, and most importantly, rebuilding a society."
When 85-year-old Don Andrés Rodríguez Rodríguez described the place where he grew up, he answered without hesitation.
“Perfect, my community is perfect,” he said.
Rodriguez lives about 3,000 feet above sea level in Bauta Abajo, Puerto Rico, one of the island’s rural mountain communities, where the sky and clouds can seem close enough to touch.
But since Hurricane María devastated Puerto Rico last September, conditions in his neighborhood have been far from perfect.
HUD No. 18-028
Disaster recovery funds to help repair damaged housing, businesses and infrastructure
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded nearly $28 billion to support long-term disaster recovery in hard-hit areas in nine states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These funds are provided through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program and will address seriously damaged housing, businesses and infrastructure from major disasters that occurred since 2015.
El Comité de Huracanes de la Organización Meteorológica Mundial (OMM) se reunirá del 9 al 13 de abril para examinar la devastadora temporada de huracanes que afectó a la región del océano Atlántico en 2017, así como para deliberar acerca de la coordinación y la planificación operacional a escala regional con vistas a proteger las vidas y los bienes materiales durante la próxima temporada.
In 2017, EM-DAT data indicates that 318 natural disasters occurred, affecting 122 countries. The impact of which resulted in 9,503 deaths, 96 million people affected, and US$314 billion in economic damages.
The human impact of natural disasters in 2017 was much lower than the last 10 year average, where events with extremely high mortality occurred, such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti (225,570 deaths) and the 2008 Nargis Cyclone in Myanmar (138,400 deaths).
Geiger Gibson / RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative
Jessica Sharac, MSc, MPH and Sara Rosenbaum, JD
Policy Issue Brief #52
The World Meteorological Organization’s Hurricane Committee meets from 9 to 13 April to review the devastating 2017 Atlantic hurricane season and to discuss regional coordination and operational planning to protect lives and property in the forthcoming one.
GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico – A disaster recovery center is opening in Corozal on Tuesday, April 3 to help those whose homes or businesses were affected by hurricanes Irma and María.
Calle San Manuel corner of Calle Gándara
Corozal, PR 00783
Beginning Tuesday, April 3, the center’s regular hours are** 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays**.
Release date: March 26, 2018
Release Number: 142
GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico – Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available for businesses and private nonprofits that suffered physical damage or economic losses due to hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Uninsured and underinsured losses caused by a disaster can impact business owners’ ability to recover. SBA loans can help cover repairs and replacement of damaged physical assets as well as small business operating expenses after a disaster.
Release date: February 26, 2018
Release Number: FS 032
FEMA provides financial assistance to eligible individuals and households who are unable to pay for child care, including an increase in expenses or costs, because of the disaster. Under the Child Care Assistance program, FEMA will award a one-time payment for up to eight weeks of child care, plus any eligible expenses, or the maximum amount identified by the government, whichever is less.
In addition to meeting general conditions of eligibility, eligible child care expenses include:
Release date: February 6, 2018
Release Number: 115
GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico – As the people of Puerto Rico rebuild homes damaged by the flooding and hurricanes of last September, FEMA and National Lumber have teamed up to provide free information, tips and literature on how to make homes stronger and safer during the rebuilding process.
Se espera que lleguen 3,815 postes y 1,832 millas de cable conductor adicionales la semana próxima
El director ejecutivo interino de la Autoridad de Energía Eléctrica (AEE), Justo González, anunció hoy que el 70,9 % de los abonados en Puerto Rico ya cuenta con electricidad, gracias a los trabajos de reparación tras el huracán María.
UN agencies, NGOs, and government employees sharing the same workspace helped collaboration and information sharing.
Sector-specific and cross-sector coordination meetings allowed agencies and government actors to share information that reduced delays and increased collaboration between actors.
The lack of reliable baseline data greatly hampered efforts and delayed carrying out assessments and distributions properly during the response.