Relief supplies from CARICOM begin to arrive in Bahamas

Bridgetown, Barbados, August 27, 2011 (CDEMA) - A shipment of relief supplies from the CARICOM regional Warehouse in Jamaica left Kingston today (Saturday, August 27, 2011) for hurricane impacted Acklins and Mayaguana Islands in the Bahamas.

The islands in the southeastern Bahamas received significant wind damage during the passage of Hurricane Irene.  More than 90% of the houses in the Lovely Bay Community in Acklins were damaged and on Mayaguana, 40 household or approximately 50% of the population have been affected.  Downed power lines have disrupted power and there has also been flooding in some areas. The 4,000 lbs of humanitarian supplies comprising, tarpaulin, blankets, food and water is the first shipment from the CDEMA Regional Response Mechanism to the Bahamas.

The Turks and Caicos Islands, one of CDEMA’s 18 Participating States, has offered the use of its airport on the island of Providenciales as a forward staging area for transhipment of relief supplies to the islands of the south-eastern Bahamas. An area has also been made available for the breakdown of bulk packaging for easy distribution.  This is another of the CDEMA system’s efforts to support the ongoing relief operations of the Government of The Bahamas to the affected Family Islands.

Yesterday, CDEMA also supported the Government of the Bahamas in undertaking an aerial reconnaissance of Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Island, Rum Caye, Cat island and Eluthera for an initial overview of the extent of damage.  The reconnaissance team included representatives from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), The Bahamas Meteorology Office, United States Agency for International Development/ Office of  Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) who funded the flight, Jamaica Red Cross, and CDEMA.

Damage assessments are continuing by the Government of Bahamas and will inform the level of assistance that may be required by the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM). The CDEMA CU remains in constant contact with NEMA and has been receiving regular updates. As such, CDEMA has requested that the RRM remain on standby for deployment at short notice.

Hurricane Irene passed over the Bahamas chain of islands as a Category two and three storm on the Saffir–Simpson Scale seriously affecting some of the islands.  According to preliminary reports on damage throughout the country, Irene has disrupted electricity supply due to the number of downed power lines and caused serious structural damage to government buildings, schools and private residences and to public docks on Abaco and Exuma.

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and Captain Stephen Russell, the National Disaster Coordinator began a tour of the islands today . They will visit Grand Cay, Abaco, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Central Abaco, Cat Island, Exuma, Inagua, and a number of the other affected islands in the southern Bahamas including Acklins and Crooked Island

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is the lead CARICOM Agency for coordinating emergency response to any of its 18 Participating States and has responsibility for triggering the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM).   The RRM is the highest level of response to an affected Participating State. This arrangement allows for coordination of the disaster response among CDEMA Participating States, Regional and International Agencies.  

For information, please contact
Ms Andria Grosvenor
Technical Manager, Preparedness and Country Support
Building #1 Manor Lodge
Lodge Hill, St. Michael
Tel. no. 246-425-0386
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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