By Mette Karlsen
Hurricane Maria caught the tiny island nation of Dominica by surprise in late 2017. As the hurricane passed over the country — only a quarter of the size of Rhode Island — 160-mile-per hour winds crumbled concrete walls and ripped metal roofs off of buildings. When Dominica’s 73,000 residents emerged from their homes the morning after, the storm had damaged or destroyed 90 percent of the island’s buildings.
by Adela Suliman | @adela_suliman | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Wednesday, 31 January 2018 20:26 GMT
"For all of those who thought for years... we were crying wolf (about climate change), well we've just been eaten"
By Adela Suliman
LONDON, Jan 31 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The Caribbean island of Dominica, still reeling from Hurricane Maria last September, is on the "frontline of the war on climate change" and has only five months to prepare for the next hurricane season, its foreign minister said.
Hurricane Maria made landfall on the southwest coast of Dominica at 9:35pm on 18 September as a Category 5 hurricane, with 160 mph wind speed and higher gusts. The hurricane force resulted in intense storm surges, torrential downpour, overflowing raging rivers, and extremely high winds across the island left 31 people dead, 37 missing. 65,000 people, around 80% of the population, were directly affected and more than 90% of roofs were damaged or destroyed while power and water supplies were disrupted, and entire crops destroyed
This operations update no.3 provides updated information on the current situation in Dominica, ongoing assessments and a summary of key results achieved against objectives of the Dominica Hurricane Maria Emergency Plan of Action up to 15 January 2018.
The Emergency Appeal plan of action and budget is currently being revised and will be based on the new assessments findings a verification and revision on the number of beneficiaries to respond to the current needs of the affected families.
A. SITUATION ANALYSIS Description of the disaster
A Report by the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica
November 15, 2017
UN agencies, NGOs, and government employees sharing the same workspace helped collaboration and information sharing.
Sector-specific and cross-sector coordination meetings allowed agencies and government actors to share information that reduced delays and increased collaboration between actors.
The lack of reliable baseline data greatly hampered efforts and delayed carrying out assessments and distributions properly during the response.
The European Commission has provided €500,000 to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to support Dominica’s education sector in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria last September.
The powerful Category 5 storm severely impacted infrastructure across the country, including the education sector, resulting in over one-third of primary and secondary schools being listed as severely damaged. Access to schooling was disrupted for students across the board.
Almost four months since hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the Caribbean islands, the return of some critical services remains slow in some countries. In Dominica, only around 10 per cent of people, mainly in the cities of Roseau and Portsmouth, have access to electricity, while in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) only one fifth of the population has restored power.
A large scale landslide inventory was carried out by a team from the University of Twente, use of 5 scenes of Pléiades satellite imageries with resolution of 0.5m, which were obtained in September 23 and October 5 after the hurricane, made available through UNITAR-UNOSAT. Apart from these also a series of Digital Globe Images were used that were collected for the Google Crisis Response through a KML layer.
The Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) has not been activated in response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean region. World Food Programme (WFP), in its capacity as global ETC lead, is supporting the response activities coordinated by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).
Restoring connectivity helps people make informed decisions
An outlandish big white ball stands out among the school, a church with a twisted cross and a dozen fishing boats in the community of Saint Sauveur. It is the most visible sign of a quick-deploy satellite installed by the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) — led globally by the World Food Programme (WFP) — and Ericsson Response engineers, supported by the Government of Luxembourg, to help communities reconnect with the outside world after Hurricane Maria.
The steering committee established to spearhead the recovery process of countries hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, in September of 2017, have been moving ahead in the venture, information coming out from the CARICOM Secretariat stated.
Following the successful staging of the CARICOM-UN High-Level Pledging Conference at UN Headquarters in New York on November 21, 2017, the Steering Committee has continued to meet with a renewed focus on translating pledges into concrete programmes and initiatives.
The Pan American Health Organization commissioned a study of the wind speeds in several Caribbean islands during the passages of Irma and Maria; the wind maps developed provide estimates on various islands. These were developed using a combination of the hurricane track data provided by the National Hurricane Centre (central pressure and position) coupled with estimates of the radius to maximum winds (RMW) and the Holland B parameter. Wind speeds are presented as estimates of maximum 3-second peak gust wind speeds over land.
28 de diciembre, 2017 — Tres meses después de que el huracán María asolara Dominica, la población sigue muy afectada. Sin embargo, la fase post-emergencia representa una serie de oportunidades para reconstruir mejor y aumentar la resiliencia de la isla caribeña.
El huracán María, de categoría 5, golpeó a Dominica el 18 de septiembre, dejando a 15 personas muertas y cerca de 57.000 personas afectadas.
Friday, December 22, 2017 — The OECS Commission partnered with Ectel, the Embassy of New-Zealand, and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court to provide Christmas gifts to over two hundred (200) Dominican children affected by hurricane Maria.
The Dominica Toy Drive launched on November 17, recently ended collecting 250 toys. Additionnal 250 snacks were purchased with funds from the Commission's Social Committee Account.