CDEMA Hurricane Earl Update

Bridgetown, Barbados Monday August 30, 2010 – The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) – Over the weekend CDEMA Participating States of Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands were threatened by the Hurricane Earl. According to the National Hurricane Centre, at 11:00 a.m. this morning, Earl was located near latitude 18.7 north, longitude 63.6 west. Earl is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph.  A turn toward the northwest is expected on Tuesday.  On the forecast track, the center of Earl will pass near or over the northernmost Leeward Islands this morning and near the Virgin Islands this afternoon and this evening. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 120 mph with higher gusts.  Earl is a category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.  Additional strengthening is forecast.

The system which is being monitored by CDEMA with the support of the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology CIMH affected Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla. Anguilla’s sea ports and airports were closed and the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) activated. The territory is experiencing gusty winds and heavy rainfall.

In Antigua and Barbuda,  the NEOC was activated, shelters opened and the airport closed. High winds and little rainfall are currently being experienced. There are also reports of fallen trees and flooding is some areas.  

Airports were closed in St Kitts and Nevis while in Monsterrat the Emergency Operations Centre was activated and emergency shelters opened. Blocked roads and bridges flooding in low lying areas, mudslides and land slippages have also been reported in Montserrat. Tropical Storm conditions were being experienced earlier today in St Kitts and Nevis. The reported heavy rainfall, gusty winds and sea swells have caused flooding and temporarily blocked roads.

The Virgin Islands which is forecasted to be impacted later today has activated its EOC and remains on high alert.

CDEMA throughout the event has maintained regular contact with the threatened States and continues to support the countries in coordinating identified needs and sharing of information. The CU has also engaged key personnel including representatives of the Regional Response Mechanism, the Resident Coordinator and co-chair of the Eastern Caribbean Donor Group and the Regional Security System (RSS) to assist with planning pre and post impact. The Eastern Caribbean Donor Group will convene this evening to discuss the impact of Hurricane Earl on the states and consider response options. These will be informed by the Damage Assessment being undertaken by the affected states and the emerging needs.

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