Hurricane Lenny OCHA Situation Report No. 8

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 03 Dec 1999
Ref: OCHA/GVA - 99/0244
Hurricane Lenny - Caribbean Region
OCHA Situation Report No. 8
3 December 1999

Summary of damage and needs requirements

1. On 29 November 1999, a Post Impact Assessment Meeting of the Eastern Caribbean Donor Group took place in Barbados, during which a consolidated needs report was presented by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) - Coordinating Unit.

2. These findings followed reports from CDERA Participating States and the Rapid Needs Assessment Teams deployed on November 21 and 22, 1999 to Antigua & Barbuda, St.Kitts/Nevis, Dominica, Anguilla, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

3. This information will form the basis of an appeal that will be issued by 6 December 1999.

Summary of damage

4. All reports emphasized the substantial infrastructural damage and the environmental impact of this hurricane. Although there were personal losses and displaced persons, the overwhelming concern was towards economic effects of the disaster.

5. The damage observed and assessed has impacted many areas of national life. These include economic and physical planning, natural resources management, housing and social sectors as well as specific productive sectors such as agriculture, fisheries and tourism. By the very nature of these small island economies, the damage will have repercussions in all spheres of economic activity and the welfare of those persons most directly affected.

6.There was minimal disruption to lifeline services. However, the negative economic impact would present CDERA Participating States with major challenges not only for immediate response but longer-term infrastructural repair and economic recovery.

7. Environmental damage - especially beach erosion, landslide and damage to trails has been extensive and is largely unquantified. Accurate estimates of such losses are probably not achievable in the short run.

8. The tourism industry has been affected. There was an immediate, though short term, suspension of cruise ship arrivals in affected states. Damage to port and passenger facilities could reduce cargo through the port and carrying capacity for extended periods. Some port facilities e.g. Port Zante, St. Kitts, have experienced major damage twice within five years.

9. Many west coast main roads have been badly damaged or breached. The remaining portions of those roads are now more vulnerable to erosion by sea. It is likely that these roads will have to be redesigned and re-engineered to ensure greater resistance to similar hazards.

10. The comparatively minor damage to social sectors means that traditional relief items of food, clothing, linen and toiletries are not in great demand. Nevertheless, displaced and dislocated persons will require relief assistance.

11. The loss of houses will present an accommodation requirement in the immediate future and in the longer term.

12. Job losses are sector specific and have occurred primarily in tourism. In particular 800 persons are "temporarily" unemployed in Nevis because of the damage to and closure of the Four Seasons Resort. Self-employed persons in the fisheries sector may experience a dramatic fall off in earnings.

Summary of Needs

13. Needs have been categorized into immediate (one to four weeks), short term (one to six months) and medium term (six months to three years):

  • Immediate needs refer to the provision of direct assistance to those persons who lost houses or whose houses were so badly damaged that they became uninhabitable. In recent years, experience has demonstrated that attempts to provide temporary housing using materials such as tents are not practical. There are also other immediate issues such as the repair of damaged houses and major roads.
  • Short term needs include the provision of human and financial resources, to assist in the preparation of comprehensive and detailed technical studies in the areas of, inter alia, port facilities, hotel designs for coastal location, settlement patterns in vulnerable areas, social implications of relocation and resettlement of target populations, environmental management practices, coastal protection and coastal zone management.
  • Medium term needs imply the provision of multi-disciplinary teams to assist CDERA Participating States in the development of medium term recovery and rehabilitation plans. It is also essential to continue to provide technical and financial assistance to intensify efforts to make comprehensive Disaster Management an integral part of National Planning and Development.
Provision of technical resources is also necessary for a review of all legislation pertaining to the interrelationship between natural hazards and physical planning.

14. For more details on needs and respective break down by country and sector, interested donors are requested to contact the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency: The Garrison, St. Michael Barbados, Tel: (246) 436-9651, Fax: (246) 437-7649, E-mail: CDERA@Caribsurf.com

International Response

15. Contributions reported to OCHA (USD)

UN system

OCHA: Emergency cash grant for local purchasing of relief goods: 20,000

Governments

Norway: Cash grant from the Emergency Fund managed by OCHA: 50,000

United Kingdom: Cash grant through PAHO to respond to need for mosquito: 39,900

16. The international assistance, which has been reported to OCHA as of today, may be found by clicking on Financial Tracking at the top of the page for this disaster on the OCHA Internet Website (http://www.reliefweb.int). Given that information on contributions reaches OCHA Geneva from multiple sources, donors are urged to verify this table and inform OCHA of corrections/additions/values, as required. Donors are requested to notify OCHA Geneva of any further contributions to this disaster using the "OCHA Standardized Contributions Recording Format", available electronically in the above mentioned Financial Tracking Website.

17. OCHA is prepared to serve as a channel for cash contributions to be used for immediate relief assistance, in coordination/consultation with relevant organizations in the United Nations system. Funds should be transferred to OCHA account No. CO-590.160.0, Swift code: UBSWCHZ12A at the UBS AG, P.O. Box 2770, CH-1211 Geneva 2, with reference: OCHA - Hurricane Lenny - Caribbean Region. OCHA provides donors with written confirmation and pertinent details concerning the utilization of the funds contributed.

18. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies is available on the OCHA Internet Website at: http://www.reliefweb.int

Telephone number: + 41-22-917-1234
In case of emergency only: + 41 22 917 2010

Desk Officers: Mr. Erik Haegglund, direct tel: + 41-22-917-3299

Contact person for the media: Ms. Elena Ponomareva, direct tel: +41-22-917-2336

Telex 41 42 42 ocha ch
Fax: + 41 22 917 0023
E-mail: ochagva@un.org

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
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