Cuba + 2 more

ACT Alert Caribbean 1/05: Hurricane Dennis

Geneva, July 20, 2005 - Hurricane Dennis, a category IV hurricane, struck Haiti on 7 July and proceeded to lash Cuba between 7 - 9 July causing heavy rains and flooding in both Haiti and Cuba. Eleven people lost their lives in Haiti and ten in Cuba. Hurricane Dennis then continued to Jamaica where it caused heavy landslides.
The country most severely affected was Cuba, where the Hurricane devastated 11 provinces and caused the evacuation of 1.5 million people. According to the latest reports 120,000 homes were affected to different degrees. Agricultural production has suffered such severe and comprehensive damage that it has resulted in an immediate and direct impact on the food security of the country. It is estimated that the recovery process will take a long time. This is the fourth year in a row that Cuba has been seriously hit by hurricanes.

In Haiti, heavy rain flooded the southern parts of the country and 1,000 were evacuated. It is estimated that 15,000 people in Haiti were affected by Hurricane Dennis.

ACT member in Cuba, the Cuban Council of Churches (CIC), reports that the most affected provinces are Granma, Sancti Spiritus and Cienfuegos. They immediately deployed an assessment team to these areas and according to their report the most affected province is Granma, particularly the area of Niquero and Pilon. The most urgent needs are food, mattresses, clothes, shoes, and cleaning tools. They are planning to respond in this area and their first estimation of resources needed to respond to the crisis situation is U$66,000. An appeal might be forthcoming.

ACT member in Haiti, Christian Aid (CAID) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) reported that they are assessing the situation. Access to affected areas is difficult as bridges and roads have been severely damaged by the floods.

For further information please contact:

ACT Director, White Rakuba (phone +41 22 791 6033 or mobile phone + 41 79 203 6055) or
ACT Programme Officer, Elsa Moreno, (phone +41 22 791 6420 or mobile phone +41 79 608 8133)