Bahamas + 3 more

Caribbean: Hurricane Season 2008 Emergency Appeal No. MDR49003 Operations Update Final Report

Situation Report
Originally published
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GLIDE No. TC-2008-000143

Period covered by this Final Report: 9 September 2008 to 9 June 2009.

Appeal target (current): CHF 2,010,991 (USD 1,828,173 or EUR 1,243,656)

Appeal coverage: 87%;

Appeal history:

- This Emergency Appeal was initially launched on a preliminary basis on 9 September 2008 for CHF 1,802,093 (USD 1,638,300 or EUR 1,115,850) for 6 months to assist 25,000 beneficiaries.

- An allocation from the Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) for CHF 25,000 (USD 23,809 or EUR 15,291) was made on 28 August 2008 to support the National Society of Jamaica to cover early preparedness and costs of relief activities. A second DREF allocation for CHF 100,000 (90,909 or EUR 61,920) was requested and approved on 2 September.

- A DREF allocation for CHF 25,000 (USD 23,809 or EUR 15,291) was granted on 1 September 2008 to support the Bahamas Red Cross Society. A second DREF allocation for CHF 170,000 (USD 154,545 or EUR 105,263) was requested and approved on 2 September.

- On 6 October, the budget was revised to CHF 2,010,991 (USD 1,828,173 or EUR 1,243,656) for 9 months to assist 20,000 beneficiaries.

Summary: On 28 August 2008, Hurricane Gustav lashed through Jamaica and the Cayman Islands with strong winds and rain. Three days later, tropical storm Hanna swamped the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos with heavy rain and gusty winds. Only few days later, Hurricane Ike passed near causing heavy rains delaying the relief operation and causing extensive damage to the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeast Bahamas. The objectives in this Appeal were established based on identified needs: relief items, provision of psychosocial support, safe water, rehabilitation of livelihoods and preparedness training. A total of 1,997 families in Jamaica, 634 families in Bahamas and over 1,600 families in the Turks and Caicos Islands were assisted by relief items during the relief phase that ended in November 2008. The Appeal was handed over from Federation's Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) to the Caribbean Regional Representation (CRR) in January 2009 to support finalizing recovery and preparedness activities. The operation was completed on 9 June 2009 and the National Societies of the Bahamas and Jamaica as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands Overseas Branch of the British Red Cross are now better prepared for the Atlantic Hurricane Season 2009.

This report features a final financial report which presents a balance of CHF 61,597. The remaining funds of this operation will be allocated towards Disaster Management activities during 2010.

The situation

Tropical Storm Gustav impacted Jamaica on 28 and 29 August 2008 bringing extensive rain and wind damage to infrastructure and personal effects. The communities suffered from landslides, flooding and torrential winds. A total of 12 fatalities were confirmed. The Ministry of Agriculture reported substantial livelihood damages in many parishes. Approximately 2,000 people sought refuge in the 100 emergency shelters that were opened island-wide.

Approximately 463 houses were totally destroyed while another 2,065 sustained major damages. The rainy season continued in two of the affected parishes, namely Saint Thomas, Saint Mary and Portland. On 9 February 2009 significant flooding occurred in these parishes and resulted in challenges for those persons who were in the process of recovering their livelihood.

The Bahamas Red Cross Society (BRCS) was responding to the damages caused by Hanna when Hurricane Ike interrupted relief activities on 7 September 2008. Ike caused most damage in the island of Inagua, while the southern islands such as Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked and Ragged Islands sustained lesser damages. There were no reports of fatalities or injuries. It was estimated that approximately 500 to 700 families were affected.

On 1 September, Hurricane Hanna hit the Turks and Caicos Islands moving from a tropical storm to a category one hurricane. The weather system stayed over and around the Islands for three days causing some damage to housing and flooding. On 6 September, Hurricane Ike hit the Turks and Caicos as a category four hurricane causing extensive damage to housing and other structures as well as some flooding. An estimated 6,950 people were affected on Grand Turk, South Caicos and Salt Cay, and several thousands on Providenciales.