Antigua and Barbuda + 13 more

The​ ​Caribbean:​ Hurricane Season Situation Report No. 7 (as of 18 September 2017)

Situation Report
Originally published



  • Humanitarian actors have been forced to shift gears from response to Irma to prepare for “potentially catastrophic ” category 5 hurricane, Maria .

  • Heavy rainfall could cause flash floods and mudslides in islands recovering from Irma’s onslaught such as Sint Maarten, Barbuda and Anguilla. Evacuation centres are being prepared.

  • More than 2.1 million people in Cuba have been targeted by a US$ 55. 8 million Plan of Action to provide assistance to the most affected by Irma.

  • Two high-level events related to Hurricane Irma were held during the UN General Assembly in New York on 18 September.

$15.1m required for most affected by Irma Source: RRP

265,000 estimated to have been affected by Irma in the Caribbean. Source: RRP

$55.8m required to support Cuba’s post- Irma recovery efforts

2.1m+ Cubans targeted by Plan of Action

Situation Overview

As the humanitarian situation improves in some of the islands recovering from the ferocious impact of Hurricane Irma, aid workers in severely impacted islands such as Sint Maarten have had to shift gears to prepare for category 4 Hurricane Maria. Maria is the sixth hurricane to have formed in the Atlantic Basin this season (from 1 June) which ends in November, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Twenty provinces in the Dominican Republic are under a storm warning.

Rainfall on many of the islands on Maria’s path could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. The UN Disaster Assessment Coordination (UNDAC) is supporting Sint Maarten in its preparedness efforts to face Maria. Evacuation centres and shelters are being prepared for Maria.

In the Dominican Republic, the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) has convened in advance of Hurricane Maria and has already placed 20 provinces on alert for hurricane conditions. Authorities are evaluating priority evacuation zones.

Maria is also being monitored by Cuba, where more than 2.1 million people - the most vulnerable among those severely affected by Irma in Cuba, will be targeted by a Plan of Action by the UN System to support Cuba’s recovery efforts.

Cuba had faced the brunt of Irma where the hurricane made landfall as a category 5 hurricane, with more than 5.6 million people directly affected. The US$55.8 million Plan of Action launched on 18 September will target the most vulnerable - more 2.1 million people - in 33 municipalities seriously impaired by Hurricane Irma to cover their immediate basic needs over the next six months.

Restoration of water and power supplies remains a critical requirement in many of the affected islands such as Sint Maarten and Turks and Caicos. The islands of Antigua and Barbuda and Anguilla require generators, water cases, water bowser containers, purifiers and water treatment tablets as the population struggles with shortages of potable water. The situation in the British Virgin Islands has improved with the restoration of power and opening of local markets. Ferries are operational again and the airport was expected to be opened for commercial flights on 18 September.
More than 90 per cent of buildings on Sint Maarten and 75 per cent of standing structures in Barbuda were destroyed by Irma, according to a preliminary building damage assessment overview map by the Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) of the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

UNOSAT will release its comprehensive building damage assessment across the Caribbean in the wake of Irma this week.

In an effort to allow for a better flow of the relief supply pipeline, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) has urged donating organisations and individuals to organize relief supplies in categories. It has also urged donors to consult with the list of needs identified by the islands on CDEMA’s website.

A high-level event on Hurricane Irma was held at the UN General Assembly in New York, where the UN SecretaryGeneral António Guterres urged efforts to boost resilience and strengthen damage mitigation measures.

UN agencies have been assisting with response and recovery efforts since the storm struck and last week, the Organization launched a $15.1 million regional humanitarian response plan, covering the urgent needs of the most vulnerable populations impacted. The plan aims to reach an estimated 265,000 affected people until the end of this year.

In another high-level event in New York on 18 September, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, allocated US$10 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to enable humanitarians to help tens of thousands of people in need of assistance following the devastating category 5 storm, Hurricane Irma.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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