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MESSAGE: Hurricane Watches issued for Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis.

THE SITUATION:

According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, as at 500 PM AST, Sunday September 3, 2017, the center of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 17.6 North, longitude 49.8 West. Irma is moving toward the west near 14 mph (22 km/h). A westward to west-south-westward motion with some reduction in forward speed is expected through Monday night. On the forecast track, the center of Irma is forecast to approach the northern Leeward Islands late Tuesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km). The estimated minimum central pressure is 969 mb (28.62 inches).

Hurricane Watches Issued

As at 5:00pm today, Sunday September 3rd 2017, the government of Antigua and Barbuda has issued a Hurricane Watch for the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, and Nevis. The NHC also advised that interests in the remainder of the Leeward Islands, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands should monitor the progress of Irma.Hurricane Irma forecast track, September 3, 2017 - NHC

The following are summaries of the national actions undertaken by CDEMA Participating States (PSs)

Antigua & Barbuda – The National Office of Disaster Services (NODS)

  • The National Disaster Coordinator (NDC) and the Prime Minister are expected to visit the island of Barbuda tomorrow Monday September 4, 2017
  • Drains are being cleared in preparation for any impact from the system
  • NODS and the Meteorological Services continue to monitor the system and provide updates to the public

St Kitts/Nevis – The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)

  • A pre-strike meeting was held with all national stakeholders on Saturday September 2nd 2017
  • Public Advisories are continuously placed on the media to remind citizens to remain alert and prepare for any possible impact
  • NEMA continues to monitor the system and provides updates to the public

Anguilla – The National Disaster Management Organisation (NDMO)

  • The National Disaster Management Committee met at 2pm, today Sunday September 3, 2017
  • The Government will be closing its offices to the public at 2 pm on Monday September 4, 2017
  • Schools will be closed tomorrow, Monday September 4, 2017
  • NDMO has organized for shelters to be opened from 4 pm on Tuesday September 5, 2017
  • NDMO continues to monitor the system and provide updates to the public

The Bahamas – The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)

  • A briefing is scheduled with the Prime Minister and the National Disaster Committee for 8pm today, Sunday September 3, 2017
  • A National press briefing is scheduled for 12noon tomorrow Monday September 4, 2017
  • NEMA and the National Meteorological Services continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Irma

Impact Analysis by the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH)

The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) provided CDEMA with an impact analysis based on the forecasted track of Hurricane Irma at 4:30pm, Sunday September 3, 2017.

RAINFALL: Satellite-based rainfall estimates show rainfall in excess of 350mm. Rainfall and reflectivity projections suggest intense rainfall can be expected with the passage of Irma

FLOOD/LANDSLIDE: Rainfall likely to lead to swollen river conditions, dangerous flash flooding and landslides but not expected to affect land within the next 48 hours. Interests should continue to monitor the track closely.

WIND: Winds likely to approach Hurricane force with stronger gusts in areas of thunderstorms later Tuesday into Wednesday. Hurricane force winds are very dangerous and will produce damages. Interests should continue to monitor the track closely.

WAVES: Waves heights likely to exceed 6.5 metres mainly in the Northern Leeward Islands. Storm surge and rough seas expected with damage likely along coastlines. Areas to the south could experience wave heights in the range of 3.5 to 4 meters. Near shore and marine operators should exercise caution.

In summary: Hurricane Irma is expected to be a major storm as it approaches the Leeward Islands on Tuesday into Wednesday. This will be accompanied by very strong winds, high storm surge and heavy rainfall.

Regional Actions

The CDEMA Coordinating Unit is in contact with the National Disaster Coordinators (NDCs) of the threatened Participating Sates. The status of regional actions is as follows:

  • The Regional Coordination Plan has been activated
  • The Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) has been placed on standby
  • The Regional Security System (RSS) has been contacted to place the CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU) on standby
  • CDEMA has placed the CARICOM Disaster Assessment and Coordination (CDAC) team and CARICOM Operational Support Team (COST) on standby
  • The Eastern Caribbean Development Partner Group on Disaster Management (ECDPG/DM) has been alerted and will convene a meeting tomorrow, Monday September 4, 2017
  • The Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) will update the partners of the RRM on the status of the system at the ECDPG/DM meeting
  • CDEMA is equipped to offer support through the mobilization and deployment surge capacity in specialized technical areas to its Participating States and stands ready to respond as required

Sub Regional Actions:

  • The Jamaica Sub Regional Focal Point is closely monitoring and is on standby to support where necessary.

The CDEMA CU will continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Irma and provide updates as necessary.

CONTACT DETAILS: The CDEMA CU 24-hour contact number 1(246) 434-4880

The public is advised to…

  • Monitor radio or television and other official sources of information for progress reports
  • Update your personal family preparedness plan and action items according to that plan
  • The website www.weready.org provides additional information
 

Vacancies

CDEMA Annual Reports