The Event: Hurricane Dean began impacting the Caribbean islands early Friday August 17, 2007 as a Category 2 Hurricane Saffir/Simpson hurricane scale. Hurricane warnings were posted for Saint Lucia and Dominica and Tropical Storm warnings for Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Grenada and its dependencies, Montserrat, St. Kitts/Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
During the passage of Dean through the islands of the Lesser Antilles maximum sustained winds were near 100 mph (169 km/hr) with higher gusts. Hurricane force winds extended outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the centre and Tropical force winds extended outward up to 140 miles (220 km).
Minimal damage was reported by the islands. Three deaths were confirmed, one in Saint Lucia and two in Dominica. Damage assessment is now underway in Dominica and Saint Lucia which also suffered roof loss, downed trees, land slides and storm surge impacts.
As of 1:45pm (Eastern Caribbean Time), on Friday, Hurricane Dean was upgraded to the first Major Hurricane of the 2007 season with maximum sustained winds of 125mph.
At 2.00 pm today, Saturday August 18, a hurricane warning is in effect for Jamaica. Dean an extremely dangerous Category Four Hurricane is located near latitude 15.9 North and longitude 69.4 West or about 505 miles (815 km) East-Southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, with maximum sustained winds near 150 mph ((240km/hr) with higher gusts. Dean is moving west northwest near 17 mph (28km/hr). On this track Dean is expected to impact Jamaica on Sunday.
Status of the RRM:
The Regional Response Mechanism remains on Standby
The Situation - JAMAICA
National Disaster Committee Team which is chaired by the Prime Minister met on Friday August 17 to initiate actions in preparations for Hurricane Dean.
The North Western Caribbean Donor Group also met yesterday.
The National Emergency Operations Centre, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management is activated and Parish District Committees have met and commenced preparations.
Emergencies supplies and personnel are being prepositioned in vulnerable areas across the country.
Emergency Shelters have been identified and public information is being issued to residents.
CDERA has noted the potential threat and damage that can result from the impact of this major Category 4 Hurricane and with its Partners is finalizing actions for immediate response and support if warranted.
The CDERA Coordinating Unit has contacted the Director General at ODPEM in Jamaica and is working to confirm regional technical and logistics support teams to assist in the response effort.
Political support for these operations has been established
Teams have been placed on standby for providing assistance to the utilities sector
The Eastern Caribbean Donor Group is also prepositioning some members of their team in Jamaica to assist the North Western Caribbean Donor Group.
Contact with extra regional agencies is being made to complement regional effort.
The CDERA Coordinating Unit continues to monitor the impact and threat of Hurricane Dean and stands ready to provide assistance if warranted.
Contact Details: The CDERA CU 24hr contact number is 246 425 0386