Barbados + 9 more

Caribbean: Tropical Storm Emily - Information Bulletin n° 2

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The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 181 countries.

In Brief

This Bulletin (no. 02/2005) is being issued for information only, and reflects the status of the situation and information available at this time. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

The Situation

Tropical Storm Emily continues to move towards the Caribbean's southern Windward Islands. Emily is moving west near 32 kilometres per hour (20 miles per hour) and is expected to pass over the Windward Islands later today. According to the U.S. National Hurricane Centre, Tropical Storm Emily is no longer gaining strength. All hurricane warnings have now been downgraded to tropical storm warnings as it no longer appears likely that Emily will strengthen to a hurricane before moving over the Windward Islands.

Tropical storm warnings have been issued for Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the northern coast of Venezuela from Pedernales westward to Cumana. A tropical storm watch has been issued for the northern coast of Venezuela from Cumana to Caracas. The government of France has discontinued the tropical storm watch for Martinique. Emily is expected to produce total rain accumulation of three to six inches across the Windward Islands and the northern coast of Venezuela, which could result in flash flooding and mudslides. The storm could also potentially produce up to 12 inches of rain over mountainous terrain. In addition, coastal storm surge flooding of one to three feet above normal tide levels is expected.

In Grenada, which was devastated by Hurricane Ivan last year, there is panic amongst the population; long lines have formed at gas stations and supermarket shelves are virtually empty. While there are no official government shelters on the island, 36 buildings have been designated for that purpose, the names of which have been provided to the media. Persons whose roofs have not yet been repaired following Hurricane Ivan in 2004 are being advised to move to these buildings.

As Jamaica recovers from the impact of Hurricane Dennis, the country is monitoring the course of Tropical Storm Emily. Hurricane Dennis previously affected communities in St. Thomas, Portland, St. Catherine, Clarendon, St. Mary and St. Andrew. A major concern is that persons who were affected by Dennis may be further affected, depending on the course of Tropical Storm Emily.

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the government is coordinating the national disaster plan, led by the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the Disaster Coordinator. A number of subcommittees have already met and have finalized all the arrangements for the response tasks ahead.

In Trinidad and Tobago, the National Emergency Centre has been activated and is providing updates to residents. The government has also advised that all business be closed down in Trinidad and employees sent home. Oil rigs are being evacuated.

Meanwhile, the death toll following Hurricane Dennis continues to rise. There are now a reported 40 casualties in Haiti, 16 in Cuba and five in the United States. Given the devastation already caused by Dennis, there is significant concern that Tropical Storm Emily could wreak further havoc in Haiti and other countries in the Caribbean.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross has reviewed their disaster and contingency plans, and has met with the National Disaster Office. Some 100 volunteers have been placed on alert. Stocks of 1,000 tarps, 3,000 blankets, and a limited quantity of comfort kits and lanterns are in stock at the National Society warehouse. Memoranda of Understanding for food supplies are already in place with major suppliers.

In Barbados, the Barbados Red Cross Society has been placed on full alert and all volunteers have been mobilized. The National Society is also attending National Disaster Meetings. The National Society currently has in stock the following relief items: 100 tarps, 10 family tents, 10 first aid kits, 100 bed sheets, 100 kitchen sets, 100 personal hygiene kits, 50 flashlights and batteries, 25 raincoats, 100 sleeping mats, 100 jerry cans, 50 pairs of water boots and 1 portable generator. The Federation's regional health delegate from the Panama Regional Delegation has been deployed to Barbados to assist the National Society.

In Dominica, the Dominica Red Cross Society has alerted its branches to the possible impact of Tropical Storm Emily and has convened a meeting of all disaster response volunteers. A review was also conducted of damage and needs assessments, and HF communication was tested with the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross Society. Emergency supplies were restocked earlier in the year.

The Grenada Red Cross Society is on alert and is in attendance at the Grenada National Disaster Committee meeting. Stocks of 600 blankets, 2,000 jerry cans, 50 cots, 100 tarps and 10 generators are in place at the National Society warehouse. The GRCS is working in collaboration with transportation services to help evacuate people from flood prone areas. In addition, there are GRCS volunteers in each parish with handheld radios and a network of 62 cellular phones in the National Society to ensure that communication is maintained. The GRCS emergency operation centre has been activated and will open its shelters at 4pm today. Two French Red Cross delegates working in Grenada on a housing reconstruction project following Hurricane Ivan have offered their support to the GRCS.

In Haiti, preparedness measures are being taken to ensure immediate shipping of relief goods from Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) stocks should Emily strike Haiti. Given inventories, there is a particular need for hygiene kits and plastic sheeting. A disaster management delegate from PADRU, already in Haiti to coordinate the response to Hurricane Dennis, is working with the Haitian National Red Cross Society and local authorities to prepare a response to this most recent storm.

The Jamaica Red Cross has responded to 1,000 families affected by Hurricane Dennis through the provision of food and non-food items. Communities have been assessed and affected persons have been registered for relief assistance. Relief items received through PADRU have allowed the JRC to provide families with additional hygiene kits, kitchen kits, buckets and plastic sheeting as persons try to recover from mudslides and flooding. Disaster mental health personnel are being deployed to provide psychosocial support to persons affected by Dennis, as well as relief personnel. In addition, tracing and welfare inquiry services are operational, but to date there have been very few requests. The Jamaica Red Cross is now monitoring the progress of Tropical Storm Emily and is repositioning relief stocks originally mobilized to respond to Hurricane Dennis to the south of the island in anticipation of the storm. In addition, a container of blankets is scheduled to be sent to Jamaica this week as part of pre-stocking efforts. Additional supplies will be sent if needed. The National Society will also participate in a meeting with the National Disaster Response Committee tomorrow, July 14, at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (OPDEM).

The St. Lucia Red Cross is on alert; four National Intervention Teams (NITs), four Community Disaster Response Teams (CDRTs) and two branch teams have been activated. Memoranda of Understanding for food supplies are already in place with major suppliers, and relief stocks are available in the National Society warehouse, including: 300 blankets, 400 cots, 700 jerry cans, 800 tarps and assorted clothing.

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Red Cross has placed volunteers on alert to support the National Society's response plan. CDRTs have been activated in Sandy Bay, Mesopotamia, Questelles, Clare Valley and Spring Village. Red Cross volunteers will assist at the approximately 125 government approved shelters throughout the country, and first aid and damage and needs assessment teams will be available should the need arise. The Federation's disaster preparedness delegate from the Panama Regional Delegation has been deployed to the country to support the National Society's preparedness and response activities.

In Trinidad and Tobago, the National Society's response teams have been mobilized and have deployed five ambulances to key areas around Port of Spain. Two ambulances have also been mobilized by the Tobago branch. In addition, the Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross Society has two 4X4 pickup trucks on standby, one of which is awaiting shipment to Tobago.

The Pan American Disaster Response Unit, located in Panama, is maintaining constant communication with the National Societies in the countries that lie in the path of the storm. Contact has been made with the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross Society, the Barbados Red Cross Society, the Grenada Red Cross Society, the St. Lucia Red Cross and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Red Cross. PADRU will also contact the Venezuelan Red Cross regarding preparedness measures, as well as the Belize, Guatemalan and Mexican Red Cross Societies, all of which could be affected by Emily in the next several days. Relevant information is being shared with Federation and National Society staff throughout the region.

Several PADRU disaster management delegates are already in the region supporting relief operations in response to Hurricane Dennis, which passed through the Caribbean last week, and will be deployed to the affected countries, as needed. PADRU is also preparing shipments of relief goods to be shipped to the affected countries, as needed. An alert for Regional Intervention Team (RITs) member has been issued in both English and Spanish and PADRU is evaluating available candidates for deployment. There are currently eight RITs members available for immediate deployment.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Antigua and Barbuda: Gerald Pryce, Director General, Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross; email redcross@candw.org, phone (1 268) 462-0800, fax: (1 268) 460-9595

In Barbados: Edmond Bradshaw, Director General, Barbados Red Cross Society; email bdosredcross@caribsurf.com, phone Tel: (1 246) 433-3889, fax: (1 246) 426-2052

In Dominica: Kathleen Pinard-Byrne, Director General of Dominica Red Cross Society; email redcross@cwdom.dm, phone (767)448-8280 fax: (767) 448-7708

In Grenada: Terry Charles, Director General of Grenada Red Cross Society; email crercs@caribsurf.com, phone (1 473) 440-1483, fax (1 473) 440-1829

In Haiti: Dr. Michaèle Amédée Gédéon, President, Haitian National Red Cross Society; email croroha@haitiworld.com, phone (509) 510-9813, fax (509) 223-1054

In Haiti: Alex Claudon, Disaster Management Delegate, Pan American Disaster Response Unit; email ifrcpa03@ifrc.org

Jamaica: Yvonne Clarke, Director General, Jamaica Red Cross; email yvonneclarke@jamaicaredcross.org, phone (1 876) 984-7860, fax (1 876) 984-8272

In St. Lucia: Hubert Pierre, Disaster Preparedness Coordinator, St Lucia Red Cross; email sluredcross@caribsurf.com, phone (1 758) 452-5582, fax (1 758) 453-7811

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Bernard Marksman, President of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Red Cross, email svgredcross@caribsurf.com, phone (1 784) 4561888, fax (1 784) 4856210

In Trinidad and Tobago: Dr. Mitra Sinanan, President, Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross Society; email ttrcs@carib-link.net, phone (1 868) 627 81 28, fax (1 868) 627 82 15

In Venezuela: Hernan Bongioanni, Secretary General of Venezuelan Red Cross; email dirnacsoc@cantv.net,phone: (58) (212) 571-4380, fax (58) (212) 576-1042

In Panama: Nathan Cooper, Disaster Management Delegate, Pan American Disaster Response Unit, Panama City; email ifrcpa17@ifrc.org, phone (507) 316-1001, fax (507) 316-1082

In Geneva: Luis Luna, Federation Regional Officer, Americas Department, Geneva; email luis.luna@ifrc.org, phone (41 22) 730-4274, fax (41 22) 733-0395

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org

MAP: Caribbean: Hurricane Emily (as of 14 Jul 2005)