On August 22, Hurricane Dean lost strength after making landfall in Mexico a second time, near the town of Tecolutla in Veracruz State, 40 miles south-southeast of Tuxpan, according to the National Hurricane Center. On August 23, Dean was downgraded to a tropical depression, but heavy rainfall continues in more than a dozen states, triggering mudslides in mountainous areas. The states of Veracruz, Puebla, and Hidalgo are the most directly affected.
On August 23, U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Leonard A. Hill declared a disaster in Belize due to the impact of Hurricane Dean, which passed through northern regions as a category five storm on August 20. In response, USAID/OFDA provided $50,000 through the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan for the purchase and transport of emergency relief supplies to hurricane-affected northern Belize and airlifted emergency relief commodities to the Belize Red Cross.
On August 23, U.S. Chargé d'Affaires for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Clyde I. Howard declared a disaster in Dominica and St. Lucia due to the effects of Hurricane Dean, which passed over the islands on August 16 and 17. In response, USAID/OFDA provided $25,000 through the U.S. Embassy in Barbados to the Dominica Office of Disaster Management for the local purchase and transport of emergency shelter repair materials to affected areas. In addition, USAID/OFDA airlifted emergency shelter supplies to both islands.
NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
1,500 houses damaged
|Government of Belize - August 22, 2007|
|Dominica||2 dead, 30 injured
1,500 houses damaged
|PAHO - August 21, 2007 CDERA(1) - August 21, 2007|
|Dominican Republic||1 dead, 300 houses destroyed or partially destroyed, 1,600 persons in shelters||PAHO(2)- August 21, 2007
2,000 families affected
|OCHA(3) - August 19, 2007
IFRC(4) - August 22, 2007
|Jamaica||4 dead, 1,188 people in 52 shelters
3,127 houses damaged
|ODPEM(5), August 24, 2007
USAID Assessment Team - August 21, 2007
|Martinique||1 dead||OCHA- August 19, 2007|
|Saint Lucia||1 dead||OCHA- August 19, 2007|
*Number expected to increase as assessments continue.
FY 2007 Humanitarian Funding to Date
USAID/OFDA Assistance to Belize: $136,954
USAID/OFDA Assistance to Dominica: $85,648
USAID/OFDA Assistance to Jamaica: $572,243
USAID/OFDA Assistance to St. Lucia: $40,432
Total USAID Humanitarian Assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean for Hurricanes: $835,277
According to the Government of Belize (GOB), Hurricane Dean caused significant damage to housing and agriculture in the northern districts of Corozal and Orange Walk, which the GOB has declared disaster areas. Preliminary GOB assessments indicate that the hurricane damaged more than 1,500 houses, causing an estimated $5 million in damage. Initial aerial estimates also indicated that the storm destroyed the entire export papaya crop, valued at more than $20 million, and caused at least $1.2 million in damage to the sugar crop.
Hurricane Dean also led to widespread power outages, affecting the water pumping systems in northern districts. According to USAID/OFDA's Regional Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean, the hurricane left the majority of the 36,000 people in the Corozal District without safe drinking water.
Dominica and St. Lucia
From August 16 to 17, high winds, storm surge, and flooding from Hurricane Dean affected Dominica and St. Lucia. The hurricane caused widespread damage in the agricultural sector on both islands, according to initial damage assessments from government officials, USAID disaster specialists, and CDERA officials. Dean also damaged at least 500 houses on Dominica and additional housing and infrastructure in St. Lucia.
According to the results of a two-day rapid assessment led by ODPEM. Hurricane Dean resulted in damage in 6 of the island's 13 parishes. All the affected parishes are located on the south and south-western side of the island. Clarendon, Manchester, and Saint Catherine parishes sustained the most damage.
The ODPEM-led rapid assessment, which included USAID emergency staff and other humanitarian organizations, determined that a total of 3,127 houses were either damaged or destroyed, and of these 1,582 houses were completely destroyed or uninhabitable. Early reports indicated that 13,000 people were impacted by Hurricane Dean. However, many areas, particularly in the highlands, have not yet been accurately assessed, and ODPEM estimates that the final affected number could be as high as 50,000.
According to the U.N., provision of water is an immediate need in affected areas. Roofing materials, garbage and debris collection, repair of the electrical system, and school repairs are other identified recovery needs.
According to the Government of Jamaica's Ministry of Agriculture, early reports from the agriculture sector indicate that the hurricane damaged 40 percent of the sugarcane crop, 100 percent of the banana crop on the two major estates, 80 percent of the small-holder banana crop in Westmoreland Parish, 75 percent of the coffee trees under three years old, and an estimated 20 percent of the top layer of the cocoa crop.
Although Hurricane Dean has been downgraded to a tropical depression, heavy rainfall continues in more than 12 states, triggering mudslides in mountainous areas. The states of Veracruz, Puebla, and Hidalgo are the most directly affected. According to August 24 media reports, several rivers overflowed their banks in the central Mexican state of Hidalgo, cutting off roads, damaging farmland, and resulting in the evacuation of more than 10,000 people.
USAID's disaster assessment team has conducted visual assessments in Veracruz State and has reported damaged houses, uprooted trees, downed power poles, and significant crop damage.
As of August 22, USAID's assessment team in Mexico reported that Cancun did not sustain significant damages due to Hurricane Dean. Pockets of damage were apparent in Chetumal and rural areas of Quintana Roo State, according to preliminary USAID assessments.
According to the Government of Mexico (GOM), Hurricane Dean damaged nearly 1,200 houses and forced 14,581 people into shelters in Quintana Roo State at the height of the storm. As of August 22, 4,200 people remained in shelters in Othon P. Blanco Municipality.