Haiti: Hurricane Irma (MDRHT014) DREF Final Report

Situation Report
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A. Situation Analysis

A.1 Description of the Disaster

Hurricane Irma impacted Haiti on 7 September 2017 into the early hours of 8 September 2017. The eye of the hurricane passed north-east of the coastline of the country, causing storm surges on the north coast and wind and flood damage to vulnerable communities. The storm directly impacted Haiti’s three northern departments, with some flooding in two additional departments due to rainfall. Preparedness activities included the pre-positioning of available stocks in the three northern departments, in conjunction with the HRCS disseminating key messages before the passage of the storm and assisting the DPC with the evacuation of affected people o designated collective centres; joint coordination meetings were also held with DPC and other stakeholders at the department level in the three northern departments.

A.2 Summary of response

Overview of the National Society

In line with the activation of the national disaster response system, the HRCS (HRCS) activated its internal disaster response protocols in six departments. Before the passage of Hurricane Irma, the HRCS pre-deployed staff into the field, 8 vehicles and mobilized 120 volunteers to conduct sensitization/alerts and aid in evacuations in 4 departments (Grand Anse, Nord, Nord Ouest and Nord Est). With support from Movement partners, the HRCS pre-positioned hygiene kits, jerry cans, long-lasting insecticide treated [mosquito] nets (LLITNs) and tarpaulins from its available stocks on the island before 8 September 2017 in the communes of Port de Paix, Cap Haitien and Fort Libertie for the families displaced by Hurricane Irma.

HRCS volunteers worked before the passage of Hurricane Irma to sensitize the community on preparedness actions, and it also worked closely with the DPC to assist with the evacuations of vulnerable people to identified collective centres.

After the passage of the hurricane, HRCS volunteers began conducting damage assessments in the different communes of the Nord, Nord Ouest, Nord Est, Bas-Artibonite, Haut Plateau, Bas Plateau and Centre departments on 8 September 2017; the assessments continued until 13 September 2017, and the gathered data indicated that heavy winds and subsequent flooding affected 7,066 families.

HRCS volunteers also carried out joint assessments with the DPC in the Nord Ouest department (including Port de Paix, St. Louis de Nord, Anse-a-Foleur, Jean Rabel, Baie-de-Henne, Detipotpe, Ile de la Tortue, Bassin Blue, Chansolme, Mole St. Nicolas) and Nord Est department (Caracol, Ferrier, Ouanaminthe, Fort Liberté), which were supported by the American Red Cross, the Netherlands Red Cross and the IFRC.

Summary of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in the country

The IFRC country cluster office in Port-au-Prince supported the National Society on the development of the plan of action, and it deployed an emergency response staff to support the National Society in the Nord Est department, before the passage of Hurricane Irma. The following Partner National Societies (PNSs) have a physical presence in country:

French Red Cross, American Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross Society, Swiss Red Cross, Spanish Red Cross, Italian Red Cross, German Red Cross and Netherlands Red Cross; the American and Netherlands Red Cross supported the assessments by deploying experienced staff to support the HRCS’ regional committees in Nord and Nord Ouest, and the American, German and French National Societies assisted with the pre-positioning of available stocks in the three northern departments. The IFRC’s ARO in Panama remotely supported the country cluster office and the National Society, and it developed a Dashboard to monitor the storm’s progress. Lastly, the ICRC supported this operation by deploying a Movement coordinator for 10 days immediately after the passage of Hurricane Irma.

Summary of non-Red Cross/Red Crescent actors in the country

The SPGRD activated the country’s national Disaster response system, and the northern part of the country was under a Hurricane Warning, with an expected impact of the evening of 7 September; the government also conducted awareness campaigns through media, mobile operators and community networks. Additionally, the MSPP mobilized mobile cholera response teams in the northern departments, and 601 collective centres were made available to affected people. Furthermore, the Ministry of Finance made 2,000,000 gourdes (CHF 30,305.74) available per department for the initial response interventions. After the passage of Hurricane Irma, the DPC in the northern departments coordinated the joint assessments with partners, including the HRCS. Lastly, UN-OCHA initiated coordination meetings, and the National Emergency Operation Centre (COUN for its acronym in French) was activated.