Storm surge associated with Hurricane Omar which formed in the Caribbean Sea have resulted in widespread flooding and significant coastal damage in some areas of Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines. There have been no reports of deaths.
The West Coast of Dominica received a severe battering from Hurricane Omar from about midnight October 15, 2008. A preliminary report from the Office of Disaster Management has indicated that there is wide spread infrastructural damage to roads, sea defenses, ports and utilities from sea swells and several families have been affected.
About 30 families or approximately 125 persons from the West Coast were made homeless and are currently with friends and families.
The Community of Scotts Head in the south, with a population of 450, is cut off from the rest of the country and will be for a few days since the coastal road to that community is extensively damage. That community is without electricity, water and landline telephones.
Access to several other com munities along the west coast is difficult.
Due to heavy lightning activities, there were widespread power outages. Several areas around the island were still without electricity and landline phones. During the day cell phone service was intermittent.
The main port was damaged and the Ferry Terminal was extensively damaged. The Cruise ship ports were slightly damaged. All barge access for hauling sand and stones were totally destroyed.
The west side of the Canefield Airport was slightly damaged.
Seven 'sizeable' boats ran aground in the second town of Portsmouth and two in the villages of Bioche/Dublanc.
Fishermen from the entire West Coast lost boats, boat houses, engines and fishing gear.
The severe weather resulted in Government's decision to shut down the country for 24 hours on Thursday October 16, 2008. The Airport on the West Coast and Shipping was suspended, but the main Airport and essential services were kept operational.
Damage assessment is continuing to determine the full extent of the impact.
Significant wave height was reported in the area of the northern and western coast line extending to parts of the south.
No significant damage reported except for encroachment of waves into land space and some of the streets in the city of Saint George. There are areas of beach erosion towards the south parts of the island.
A more detail assessment is being carried out to determine the extent of the damage.
The National Emergency Management Organization has informed that the island suffered coastal impacts from the storm surge associated with Hurricane Omar. The Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (DANA) Team is currently conducting assessment a report will be released soon.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
The western coast of St.Vincent and the Grenadines was severely impacted by storm surge from Hurricane Omar. Preliminary assessment has indicated wide spread flooding, significant erosion and destruction and damage to coastal property and businesses in the Kingstown areas, Central Leeward, East St. George and the Northern and Southern Grenadines. Damage assessment is continuing.
The Cruise Ship terminal building received significant damage and the businesses housed in the terminal were evacuated. Approximately 20 shops housed in the Bus Terminal in the area of Little Tokyo were destroyed from Storm Surge and several others were damaged from the flood waters.
Several vehicles were damaged as a result of a collapsed retaining wall
In Central Leeward, there was wide spread flooding of several houses and one school was under water. There was also significant damage to the jetties in the Grenadines with several being completely destroyed.
Approximately ten fishing boats were destroyed and several reportedly received significant damage.
The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) was partially activated. NEMO released several bulletins urging the public to be cautious, in particular persons who were venturing into dangerous waters.
NEMO uitilised the Search and Rescue Vehicle which was provided through CDERA under the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, by the United Nations Development Programe (UNDP) to assist fishermen in pulling their boats from the water.
Rapid Assessment Teams were deployed to the affected areas on mainland and to the Grenadines. The teams included representatives from the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and the Ministry of Transport and Works.
The Coordinating Unit of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency has not been requested to provide any assistance at this time but stands ready to do so in the event that this is required following further assessment of the damage.
The CDERA CU will continue to remain in contact with the affected Participating States and will provide updates as necessary.
The Regional Response Mechanism remains on standby.
Contact Details: The CDERA CU 24hr contact number is 246 425 0386