Haiti + 2 more

Hurricane Ernesto: The Caribbean OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2006/0171

OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Hurricane Ernesto - The Caribbean

This situation report is based on information provided by the office of the UN Resident Coordinators in Cuba and Haiti.


1. On 27 August, Ernesto briefly became this year's first Atlantic hurricane, but was downgraded to tropical storm status as it reached southern Haiti one day later. In Haiti heavy rains hit the coastal areas of the departments of Grand-Anse, L'Artibonite, and the Northwest of the country.

2. After leaving Haiti, Cuba´s Eastern zone was the first touched by the eye of Tropical Storm Ernesto, which although weakened, struck the Cuban territory on 28 August, near Playa Cazonal, located in the border of the eastern provinces of Santiago de Cuba and Guantánamo. Ernesto is forecast to re-strengthen when the center moves over the waters to the north of Cuba towards Florida, later today.

3. According to the US National Hurricane Center a tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch are now in effect from New Smyrna Beach southward on the East coast including lake Okeechobee, from Bonita Beach southward on the West coast and for all of the Florida Keys from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas, for Ragged Island and Great Exuma in the Central Bahamas, as well as, for Andros Island, the Berry Islands, the Biminis and Grand Bahama Island in the Northwestern Bahamas. A Hurricane warning may be required for portions of South Florida and the Florida Keys later this morning. A tropical storm watch remains in effect from North of Bonita Beach northward to Englewood on the Florida West coast.

4. Ernesto is moving toward the northwest near 14 mph (22 km/hr) and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours. On the forecast track the center of Ernesto will be near the Florida Keys or Southeast Florida by this evening. However brief periods of violent wind or rain will be moving onshore these areas during the afternoon.

5. The Government of Cuba has discontinued all tropical storm warnings for Cuba.

Impact & Needs


6. According to official figures, 2 people died, 3 resulted injured, 200 people had to evacuate to relative's houses, 134 houses were damaged and 19 houses and 1 school were destroyed.


7. Damage and needs assessment is still on-going.

National response


8. The Risk and Disaster Management Committees participated in joint assessment missions in each affected Department with MINUSTAH and humanitarian partners. By 28 August (6:00 p.m. - Local time) the tropical storm and flooding warning was discontinued.


9. The Government adopted the following preventive actions:

- More than 200,000 persons were evacuated in the central and eastern provinces.

- Preventive measures were taken in the agricultural sector to protect the crops and tobacco production

- Animals were relocated to safe areas

- The Government made available emergency electrical generators

- Shelters were activated as well as food production centers

- A permanent monitoring of the water levels was put in place

- Communication facilities were arranged

UN & International response


10. MINUSTAH continues supporting logistics and assessments in all Departments and the International Community Supporting Group (ICSG) has been collecting and sharing information on damages and casualties.


11. The UN System continues the coordination and information links and exchanges with the Central Command of Civil Defense and the Ministry for Foreign Investment and Economic Collaboration (MINVEC) and the International Community.

12. OCHA remains in close contact with UN Resident Coordinator in Cuba and UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti.

13. This situation report, together with additional information on other ongoing emergencies, is also available on http://www.reliefweb.int.

Tel. +41-22-917 1234
Fax: +41-22-917 0023
E-mail: ochagva@un.org

In case of emergency only:Tel. +41-22-917 2010

Desk Officer:

Mr. Ricardo Mena, E-mail: menar@un.org, Direct Tel. +41-22-917 1455

Press contact:

(GVA) Ms. Elisabeth Byrs, Direct Tel. +41-22-917 2653
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, Direct Tel. +1-917-892 1669


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.