The Caribbean: Hurricane Irma Situation Report No. 01 (as of 6 of September 2017)
This report is produced by the OCHA ROLAC. It is prepared in collaboration with the OCHA teams located in various countries and the regional office in Panama. It covers the first period from 05 to 06 September, 2017. The next report will be issued around September 8 2017.
●Thousands of people have been evacuated from at-risk areas.
● Irma made landfall on north-east Caribbean islands during the early hours of 6 September, affecting Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, St Barthélemy, St. Martin, the Virgin Islands and other islands in the eastern Caribbean Sea.
● Irma is predicted to hit Puerto Rico tonight, before continuing to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Turks and Caicos and south-eastern Bahamas by Thursday evening.
● There is continued risk of catastrophic damage from hurricane force winds, storm surge, and flooding in areas on Irma’s trajectory.
● Hurricane Irma is being slowly trailed by Hurricane Jose, which is moving very slowly across the Atlantic Ocean and is anticipated to affect the northern Leeward Islands.
49 million people directly in Irma’s projected path.
770,000 Possible severely affected boys, girls, and adolescents Source: UNICEF
300 km/h Irma’s maximum sustained wind speed.
Total pop. 12,316. Exposed pop. 12,316. 100% population estimated exposure to high wind zones Anguilla reported critical damage, including roads blocked, damage to the hospital and the police station.
Antigua and Barbuda
Total pop. 87,858. Exposed pop. 87,858. 100% population exposure to high wind zones Irma passed over Antigua and Barbuda at 01:47am local time 6 September. The island country’s Prime Minister, Mr. Gaston Browne stated that early preparations led to remarkable outcomes - no lives were lost in Antigua, damage to infrastructure was minor. However, assessments have yet to take place in Barbuda as access has been limited - reports indicate the destruction of 90 per cent of structures. The population of Barbuda is around 1,600 people.
St Barthélemy and St Martin
Total pop. 37,609. Exposed pop. 37,609. 100% population exposure to high wind zones The French Government has confirmed widespread flooding and power outages on the islands of St Barthélemy and St Martin. Several homes have been damaged and roofs blown off. The damage in St Barthélemy is being described as “devastating” and “apocalyptic.” Government offices in St. Martin have been partially destroyed.
St. Kitts and Nevis
Total pop. 47,897. Exposed pop. 47,897. 100% population exposure to high wind zones Minor damage is being reported in Nevis. St. Kitts is conducting an initial situation assessment.
Total pop. 3,651,232. Exposed pop. 3,651,232.. 100% population exposure to high wind zones The governor in the US territory of Puerto Rico has asked the Department of Defense to activate the National Guard as Irma closes in on the island. The latest forecast predicts the hurricane will pass just north of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico later this evening. Reports from Puerto Rico say that wind speeds have already reached over 176 km/h (110mph) in the nearby Virgin Islands.
Total pop. 10,470,773. Exposed pop. 10,454,596. 99.85% population exposure to high wind zones Irma is expected to affect the Dominican Republic in the next 48 to 72 hours. The National Emergency Operations Center has declared 17 provinces on red alert, mainly along the northern coast, recommending evacuation protocols to shelters traditionally used for flood response.
Total pop. 10,596,666. Exposed pop. 9,830,946. 92.77% population exposure to high wind zones Irma is expected to affect the northern coast of Haiti in the next 48 to 72 hours. In anticipation of the storm’s path over northern Haiti, three departments (administrative divisions) have been put on hurricane alert (Nord, Nord-Ouest and Nord-Est) and three others have been put on tropical storm alert (Centre, Ouest (PAP) and Artibonite).
Total pop. 11,266,280. Exposed pop. 6,834,579. 60.66% population exposure to high wind zones Irma is expected to affect the eastern regions of Cuba in the next 48 to 72 hours. The Government of Cuba has declared a state of alert in provinces expected to be most affected, including Camagüey, Ciego de Ávila, Granma, Guantánamo, Holguín, Las Tunas, Santiago de Cuba and Villa Clara.
Total pop. 343,735. Exposed pop. 20,015. 5.82% population exposure to high wind zones The Prime Minister, Mr. Hubert Minnis, ordered a mandatory evacuation of six islands in the southern part of the island chain. Irma poses a direct threat to the islands of Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Cay and Ragged Island. This would be the largest evacuation in the history of the Bahamas as thousands are being flown to Nassau on New Providence island.
Turks and Caicos
Total pop. 45,020. Exposed pop. 45,020. 100% population exposure to high wind zones Authorities have issued a hurricane warning for the Turks and Caicos islands as they brace for Irma’s arrival within 48 hours. In anticipation, authorities also issued an evacuation order for Salt Cay on 5 September. Tourism officials are urging visitors to leave if they have the means to do so safely. [Population and exposure estimates from UNOSAT. Estimates from International Federation of the Red Cross available at https://goo.gl/mkF83A]