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Regional Overview: Impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria

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Disclaimer: This report aims to provide an overview of the impact of the hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean. For the purposes of this report, the focus is limited to the following seven countries: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Sint Maarten, and Turks and Caicos Islands. All, except Sint Maarten, are Members of CARICOM. The depth of the report also reflects the limited availability of data, which in turn means that figures and information need to be updated in the future. The current data were based on the PostDisaster Needs Assessments (PDNAs) conducted in Antigua and Barbuda and in Dominica and by other available sources. These are all listed in the Reference section.

Hurricane Irma first made landfall on the northeast Caribbean islands on 6 September. Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, St Barthélemy, St. Martin, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos, and the US Virgin Islands were all affected. 169,000 people and 75,000 buildings were exposed to wind speeds higher than 252km/h. 5.5 million people lived in the areas where winds blew in excess of 120km/h. At least 134 people were reported dead. Days later, hurricane Maria was the tenth most intense storm on record, causing catastrophic damage and at least 97 fatalities across the north-eastern Caribbean, including Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Guadeloupe. Maria made landfall in Dominica on 19 September and in Puerto Rico on 20 September: it is considered to have been the worst natural hazard-induced disaster on record in Dominica, and caused catastrophic damages in Puerto Rico (ECHO 19/09/2017). The majority of the population in the Caribbean was affected in some way by the Hurricanes. 39,000 children are in need of assistance across the region, more than a quarter of them are under five (UNICEF 18/10/2017).