The​ ​Caribbean:​ Hurricane Season Situation Report No. 09 (as of 25 September 2017)

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 25 Sep 2017

This report is produced by OCHA ROLAC in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the first period from 06 to 25 September, 2017. The next report will be issued on or around 28 September 2017.

Highlights

  • The initial response to Hurricane Maria in Dominica is underway as humanitarian organizations arrive to deliver critical aid and carry out assessments throughout the rest of the island.

  • Although access to Dominica is gradually being restored, internal access along key roads is limited and hindering the delivery of crucial aid to cut-off communities.

  • Authorities in the Dominican Republic are using national contingency plans to address the needs caused by Maria in the areas exposed to the worst of the storm’s path.

  • The aid community in the Caribbean must now support the emergency response to Maria and continue providing support in recovery to the islands affected by Irma.

56,000 people in Dominica who require urgent support with shelter and water (80 per cent of the population)

19,774 Children under 18 in Dominica affected by Maria

All 53 health facilities in Dominica affected by Maria

1.5 million people without a clean water supply in the Dominican Republic after Maria’s passage.

11,000 people displaced in the Dominican Republic by Maria

Situation Overview

Caribbean countries and the aid community continue to support local authorities in their response to the aftermath of two category 5 hurricanes that hit the region within three weeks.

Various UN agencies and humanitarian partners have deployed teams to assess the situation in Dominica and have begun distributing aid. Military troops from several countries are supporting the aid response especially in the delivery of food, water, non-food items and shelter items.

Humanitarian response teams are arriving in Dominica to work closely with local authorities to provide muchneeded relief to the beleaguered island in the wake of Hurricane Maria. In spite of the difficulties and challenges regarding access, communications, power supply and food, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is leading response efforts on the ground, with support from foreign governments, UN agencies and humanitarian partners.

With 15 confirmed deaths and virtually the entire population of 73,000 people affected by Maria, the needs in Dominica are critical. The country’s entire agricultural production was wiped out, creating not only an immediate concern with food security, but concern over livelihoods and Dominica’s economic activities in exporting agricultural goods. Power and water supplies have been disrupted throughout the country as well.

Reports from CDEMA indicate a wide range of immediate needs, including food, water, water purification kits, construction material, electric generators, fuel, hygiene kits and home supplies.

Dominica is currently accessible via Canefield Airport, which is being used for emergency flights with temporary emergency telecommunications, and the sea port at Woodbridge. The telecommunications infrastructure within Dominica was badly damaged by Maria; communications are being slowly restored and text messaging is available through Digicel and Flow.

Maria also made landfall on St Kitts and Nevis, Guadeloupe and the British Virgin Islands. The reported damage in St Kitts and Nevis includes blocked roads, downed power lines, and damage to the agriculture industries. The damage in St Kitts alone is estimated to be worth EC$34.5 million (approximately US$12,8 m) and reports from Nevis cite serious damage to housing stock. In Guadeloupe, one death was reported, as well as damage to electric supply and telecommunications. Minor damages from rain and storm surge were reported from Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, causing minor landslides, but no injuries or deaths.

In the Dominican Republic, Maria produced heavy rainfall and winds over parts of the country. As of 25 September, 23 provinces remain under alert as more than 2,000 people remain sheltered. Authorities in the Dominican Republic are increasing their response in the most affected areas.

Throughout the rest of the Caribbean that was previously affected by Hurricane Irma, several humanitarian organizations are beginning to rotate their emergency response personnel, deploying longer term support as emergency response activities shift to disaster recovery.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.