Tuesday, August 31, 2010 (as at 2:00 P.M. AST)
Impacted CDEMA Participating States assess damages in the aftermath of Hurricane Earl
Hurricane Earl has cleared the Virgin Islands.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Turks and Caicos Islands and the south eastern Bahamas.
Hurricane Earl is a Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale. Maximum winds are 135 mph (215 km/hr) with higher gusts.
At 2 p.m., the Centre of Hurricane Earl was located at Latitude 21.5 North, Longitude 68.5 West. Hurricane Earl is moving toward the west-northwest near 14 mph (22 km/hr). A gradual turn to the northwest is expected later today.
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the centre, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 200 miles (325 km).
Earl is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of one (1) to three (3) inches with isolated maximum amounts of six (6) inches expected for the Turks and Caicos Islands and south-eastern Bahamas. Storm surge accompanied by large and dangerous battering waves are also possible for these islands.
Interests in the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas should monitor the progress of Hurricane Earl.
On the forecast track the core of Hurricane Earl will move over the open Atlantic, east of the Turks and Caicos Islands later today and tonight. Whilst some fluctuations in intensity are likely, Earl is forecast to retain Category 4 status for the next day or two.
The All Clear for Hurricane Earl was issued yesterday evening August 30, 2010 for Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat and St. Kitts-Nevis and for Virgin Islands as of this morning August 31, 2010. Turks and Caicos Islands and the south-eastern Bahamas are now under Tropical Storm Warning.
The National Disaster Offices of CDEMA Participating States have provided the following initial information.
An aerial reconnaissance was undertaken yesterday evening. The detailed Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (DANA) commenced this morning.
The Emergency Management Group (EMG) and the Disaster Executive Group (DEG) has also convened to review the situation and advance an initial response action plan.
Nine (9) persons have been provided with shelter as a result of the passage of the storm.
The Government water supply is down and has been prioritized for restoration.
Damages to the roofs of some houses and businesses have been reported. Preliminary figures are 10-15 roofs blown off or partially damaged including a primary school, the airport and cultural center.
The Government transmitter was damaged but has been repaired and is operational. All other broadcast stations are down and need to be assessed.
Roads have been closed at Backstreet and South Hill due to fallen trees and debris. Road clearance has already begun.
The airport and passenger seaport remain closed. The cargo port will open at 1 p.m. today to in-transit cargo vessels.
Telephone services through LIME And DIGICEL are operational.
Electricity is off island-wide with significant damage to the eastern side of the island. The focus at this time is on restoration of electricity to critical services such as the hospital, desalination plant, ports and government secretariat. Electricity will also be restored to a portion of the island by 2 p.m.
It is anticipated that schools will remain closed through to Wednesday September 1, 2010.
Anguilla is now looking to rapidly restock the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC), shelter kits and response resources as they monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Fiona.
Antigua and Barbuda
The detailed Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (DANA) commenced this morning. Road clearance crews were also dispatched to clear downed trees and debris.
A total of two hundred and fifty-nine (259) persons sought shelter during the passage of Hurricane Earl. Most persons seeking shelter were recorded in the Rural West one hundred and ten (110 persons); St Mary's North, fifty (50) and Rural South, forty two (42) persons. Other persons in shelter were distributed throughout the island. The care and feeding of persons in shelters has commenced in collaboration with the Red Cross.
Some persons were treated for minor bruises and scratches. Three (3) persons are currently hospitalized.
Intense wind gusts and rain with increased lightning and thunder, resulted in the suppression of the electricity power supply in accordance with the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) hurricane operational procedures. So far electricity has been restored to St. John's, Antigua and the environs. There is no electricity in Barbuda.
There was damage to roads and drains as well as downed power lines. Some roads were blocked by downed utility poles. All roads are now cleared and passable.
The Bolans fire tenders responded to a fire involving a home of a family of three (single mother and 2 children) in Johnsons Point. The home was lost in the blaze.
There was additional damage to crops and livestock within the agriculture sector.
Search and rescue units were deployed to carry out rescue operations on the southern side of the island during the passage of the storm. Twelve (12) persons were rescued.
The priority actions at this time are assessment of damages to homes and roads and bridges which is being undertaken through the Ministry of Works.
Antigua and Barbuda is now monitoring Tropical Storm Fiona and putting in place contingency preparations for this storm.
The local Meteorological Office reported that Montserrat experienced winds of between 35-40 mph from the passage of Earl. Approximately 12 inches of rain, fell over a 24-hour period.
Landslides, slippages, mudslides, fallen trees as well as downed utility poles and wires were reported.
Flooding and blocking of small bridges and loss of roadways was also reported in some areas.
The Public Works Department has mobilized work crews to clear roads and drains. These actions been supported by private sector heavy equipment.
Detailed assessments are being conducted today. An initial estimate of damage is EC $10M.
Tropical Storm Fiona is now being monitored by Montserrat and contingency arrangements being put in place.
St. Kitts and Nevis
Adverse weather conditions associated with the approach of Hurricane Earl were experienced as early as 5:10 p.m. Sunday 29th August, 2010 with rain and gusty winds. The center of Hurricane Earl passed approximately 73 miles North of St. Kitts and Nevis between 3:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. as a Category 2 storm. Tropical storm conditions were experienced. The Meteorological Office at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport recorded wind gusts of 44 mph and 3.82 inches of rainfall between 8:00 p.m. Sunday 29th August and 2:00 p.m. Monday 30th August, 2010. Thunder and lightning was also experienced.
Initial reports of damages in St. Kitts are:
- Utility lines and poles down in several communities
- Roof damage in some areas
- Some roads blocked by fallen trees
- Fences down in some communities
- Several fires, including one (1) house fire. Fire and Rescue Services Unit responded to these.
- Two coast guard vessels ran aground
- Disruption of electricity in several communities
- Soil Erosion
- Rough seas and very high sea swells
- High Seas impacting beaches
- Streets/roads blocked by boulders
Initial reports of damages in Nevis are:
- 1 yacht ran aground
- Soil erosion
- Flooded streets
- Power lines down in several communities
- High seas impacting beaches
- Blown down fences
- Electricity was turned off as a precautionary measure
- Two piers damaged
St. Kitts and Nevis is now monitoring Tropical Storm Fiona and putting in place contingency preparations for this system.
The All Clear was issued for the Virgin Islands this morning on Tuesday August 31, 2010. The National Emergency Operations Center was also formally deactivated.
Initial information suggests that Earl impacted the Virgin Islands as a Category 4 hurricane. The main areas of impact were the northern areas including the northern side of Tortola and Anegada.
During the passage of the storm, the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) continued to monitor and analyse the weather data to prepare and distribute periodic weather advisories.
Information and press releases were also prepared including translated messages for the Spanish Community. The DDM emergency web page served as a main source of information and was updated continuously. All Weather Releases were distributed to the public; all media houses, DDM Volunteer corps and Government Officers via fax, emails and radio broadcasts. DDM liaised with other government agencies to provide information bulletins to the Public.
In the aftermath of the passage of Hurricane Earl, damages were mainly fallen trees, coastal erosion, damages to marine assets and infrastructure.
Schools, businesses and government offices are closed today Tuesday to allow for cleanup.
Assessment teams have been dispatched to gather information on the hurricane's impacts and determine needs. Clean up teams have also been dispatched.
There has been a 60% restoration of electricity and water. It is anticipated that 100% restoration will be achieved by the end of the week.
The Virgin Islands is also monitoring Tropical Storm Fiona and advancing contingency preparations for this storm.
Turks and Caicos Islands
The Turks and Caicos Executive Policy Group was convened twice since the threat of Hurricane Earl, on Monday August 30, 2010 and this morning Tuesday August 31, 2010.
Schools have been closed at noon today and shelters will open at 2:00 PM.
Public information is being disseminated to encourage contingency arrangements and precaution for heavy rainfall and flooding particularly for residents in low lying areas.
Hurricane Earl is forecast to pass east of Turks and Caicos Islands later today and tonight.
The National Emergency Operations Center has been partially activated and is currently monitoring the development and path of Hurricane Earl.
REGIONAL RESPONSE ACTIONS:
The CDEMA Coordinating Unit (CU) has maintained communication with threatened states and continues to monitor the situation. The CDEMA CU stands ready to provide response support should this become necessary.
Email notification updates have been sent to Participating States and response partners.
The CDEMA Sitrep #1 as well as a Press Release was prepared and issued on Tropical Storm Earl yesterday August 30, 2010.
The Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology continues to provide analysis on the storm's development and probable effects on the islands for response scenario planning.
The Eastern Caribbean Donor Group co-chaired by CDEMA and the UN Resident Coordinator (ai) convened yesterday to discuss the impact of Hurricane Earl on the states and consider response options.
Based on initial assessment reports being shared by our Participating States so far, there is no requirement for the deployment of the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) at this stage. There may however be opportunities for specialized response support in specific areas. These will be informed by the Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (DANA) which is still being undertaken in the affected states.
The Regional Response Mechanism remains on standby for Hurricane Earl as we monitor for the Turks and Islands and the south-eastern Bahamas.
CONTACT DETAILS: The CDEMA CU 24-hour contact number 1(246) 425 0386