Cayman Islands + 1 more

Caribbean Hurricane Season OCHA Situation Report No. 28

Situation Report
Originally published



- Assessments continue to evaluate the damages following Hurricane "Paloma".

- Cayman Brac, in the Cayman Islands, is more seriously affected by "Paloma", while minor damage is reported in Grand Cayman.

- Recovery has already started in Cuba's affected provinces.


1. Coming toward the end of the Atlantic hurricane season on November 30, tropical storm "Paloma" has transformed into the seventh hurricane of the season, passed near the Cayman Islands, and made landfall in Cuba, near Santa Cruz del Sur, on 8 November, as a category 4 hurricane. "Paloma" quickly weakened into a category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph (185 km/hrs) and torrential rains, and further, to a tropical depression. The US National Hurricane Centre reports that a new small surface low pressure system is producing a concentrated area of showers and thunderstorms about 300 miles northeast of Puerto Rico. Although winds are only marginally favorable, some development of this system is possible over the next days as it moves westward.



2. Hurricane "Paloma", which passed near the main island of Grand Cayman, changed course and hit the smaller island of Cayman Brac as a Category 4 hurricane with 140 mph winds, ripping roofs from buildings and leaving devastation in its wake. Only 20% of houses were not affected on Cayman Brac. Many of the roads are still impassable. The British Red Cross Disaster Manager for the Cayman Islands reports that around a third of houses have no roof, with some completely destroyed. The majority of the houses have sustained structural damage. Some areas are also flooded as "Paloma" hit after 2 weeks of heavy rain on a saturated soil. Cayman Brac lies about 80 miles East of the main island of Grand Cayman and is home to approximately 18,000 residents, many of whom have been evacuated and are now staying with friends and relatives, or in Government shelters. Minimal damage was reported on Grand Cayman. According to the Hazard Management Committee, no injuries were reported. Local authorities, lead by the Ministry of District Administration, Planning, Agriculture and Housing (DAPAH), are responding to the situation. The National Hurricane Committee (NHC) set up its Emergency Operations Centre at the Owen Roberts International Airport. The British Red Cross is working with the Cayman Islands Government and ADRA (Adventist Disaster Response Agency) to identify the needs of the affected persons and are distributing basic relief items such tarpaulins, hygiene items and buckets. The British Red Cross has immediately released =A315,000 (or approximately USD 23,500) to support the emergency relief efforts however much more is needed as the extent of the damage becomes clearer.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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