Message: Hurricane Matthew is expected to remain a powerful Category 3 or stronger hurricane as it moves through The Bahamas.

  • A Hurricane Warning is in effect for South-Eastern Bahamas which includes the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, and Ragged Island; Central Bahamas which includes Long Island, Exuma, Rum Cay, San Salvador, and Cat Island; and NorthWestern Bahamas, including the Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence;
  • The Tropical Storm Warning for Haiti and the Turks and Caicos Islands has been discontinued.

EVENT: Hurricane Matthew, the 5th named hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season, formed near the Windward Islands on September 28, 2016. As a Tropical Storm, Matthew impacted Barbados, Dominica, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Wednesday September 28, 2016. As a Hurricane, it impacted Jamaica and Haiti on Monday, 3rd October, 2016.

On Wednesday, 5th October, 2016 at 5:00 PM EDT (2100 UTC), Hurricane Matthew was located near latitude 22.5o North, longitude 75.7o West, approximately 205 miles (325 km) SSE of Nassau, Bahamas. Ragged Island in the Bahamas reported sustained winds of 58 mph (93 km/h) and a minimum pressure of 985 mb (29.09 inches). PROGNOSIS: The National Hurricane Center (NHC) indicates that maximum sustained winds are near 120 mph (195 km/h) with higher gusts. Matthew is moving toward the northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue during the next 24 to 48 hours. On this track, Matthew will be moving across the Bahamas tonight and tomorrow (6th October, 2016). It is expected to remain a Category 3 or stronger hurricane while it moves over the Bahamas. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center and tropicalstorm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km) from the centre.

NATIONAL ACTIONS: North Western-Caribbean Participating States The CDEMA CU maintains contact with the National Disaster Offices (NDOs) of Jamaica, Haiti, Turks & Caicos Islands and the Bahamas regarding their preparations for and responses to the impact from Hurricane Matthew.

Haiti Initial assessments of damage and needs are beginning. The Civil Protection Directorate (CPD) reported that very preliminary assessments indicate the following:

  • 5 dead
  • 1 missing
  • 10 injured
  • 14,530 people evacuated to shelters
  • 1,855 flooded houses
  • 500 houses highly damaged
  • 348 houses destroyed:
  • 2703 families affected
  • 6 schools affected

All shelters, except for two (2), have been closed. Assesments are on-going and further information will be provided when available. Appeals for donations to assist relief efforts in Haiti have been launched in Jamaica.

The Turks and Caicos Islands
The Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME) (TCI) indicates that the TCI Meteorological Service has discontinued all watches and warnings and given the “All Clear”. At present, no significant damage due to wind or rain has been reported.

Hurricane Matthew is approaching the Bahamas and there are no updates at this time. Further information will be provided when available.

Eastern-Caribbean Participating States
The island states impacted by the passing of Tropical Storm Matthew- Barbados, Dominica and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines and Saint Lucia- have deactivated their NEOCs. However damage assessments continue within the impacted sectors.

REGIONAL ACTIONS: The Regional Coordination Plan (RCP) remains activated and the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) continues to be on standby. The CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU), the CARICOM Disaster Assessment and Coordination (CDAC) team, the Rapid Needs Analysis Teams (RNAT), Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Teams and CARICOM Operational Support Team (COST) remain on stand-by for the impending threat of Hurricane Matthew on the North Western Caribbean.

The CDEMA CU has initiated the following actions:

  • Maintained regular contact with threatened/impacted Participating States (Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica and Turks & Caicos Islands). Preliminary requests include rapid needs assessments, Search and Rescue (SAR) and deployment of the CDRU. The CU is preparing an initial deployment of support personnel for departure on Thursday 6 October 2016 to Haiti.
  • Discussions with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) have confirmed that the Emergency Relief Grant (USD 200,000 per impacted State) will be available to Haiti and The Bahamas. The CU will assist affected states in preparing the application for the grant to expedite the process.
  • Updated and shared an Operational Scenario and Plan for ‘Hurricane Matthew’ for States threatened in the North Western Caribbean. Preliminary impact assessments based on current population data and projected/actual impact were presented for the North Western PSs.
  • Conducted a coordination briefing on Monday, October 5, 2016 with the RRM partners in the North-Western region. Another briefing will be conducted on Thursday, October 6, 2016. The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH)1 provides these daily briefings with special weather interpretation of the current and forecast tropical weather affecting the Caribbean region.
  • Regional response teams are on alert - CDRU, CDAC, COST, USAR and RNAT. An executive request was sent out by CDEMA CU to the PSs seeking personnel with technical expertise adept for deployment in any emergency or disaster environment.

Agencies on standby to support the RNAT include the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO), the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), the University of the West Indies (UWI), and UN-OCHA. f. Discussions with the Sub-Regional Focal Points (SRFPs) on potential initial support i.e. Trinidad and Tobago - SRFP (Southern), Barbados – SRFP (Central) and Antigua - SRFP (Eastern). Available support to include marine assets, human resources for deployment, security, Search and Rescue (SAR) teams, Regional Warehouse stocks and initial dispatch of humanitarian aid. Jamaica has indicated that support personnel from the Jamaica Defense Force and Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management are available and on alert for supporting RRM deployment. g. Discussions with regional and international partners on potential areas of support to any impacted Participating State.

Partners in the North-Western Caribbean have initiated the following actions:

  • International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) has activated its Contingency Plan, and teams are on the ground in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica supporting the respective National Societies as needed. Coordination meetings have been held in the affected territories. First aid kits (100) have been donated as well as Open Data Kit (ODK) mobile phones for damage assessment. National Red Cross Societies (RCS) are responding as needed, with logistics and other support provided by extra-regional Partner National Societies2:
  • Haiti RCS: established a regional situation cell, mobilized 3,000 volunteers in 14 branches to be deployed if necessary, assisted with the evacuation of the population from at-risk zones and deployed two multidisciplinary teams with Water Sanitation and Health (WASH) skills to critical areas. An Emergency Appeal will be launched for approximately 10,000 families for 12 months. It is coordinating its response with the Dominican Republic (RCS)
  • Jamaica RCS: mobilized branch volunteers and will continue to monitor and provide support to collection centres island-wide. A Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) will be launched for 500 families (2,500 people) for 2 months. Community Disaster Response Teams (CDRT) have delivered food in St. James.
  • Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has deployed its United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) members to Haiti and Jamaica. The UNDAC Team in Haiti has met with the Civil Protection Department (CPD) to coordinate damage assessment, including initial aerial reconnaissance flights (supported by US military) to gain a macro view of the situation. This will be reinforced with additional capacity over the next few days. The UNDAC team in Jamaica is on stand-by to re-deploy to The Bahamas.
  • The Regional Security System (RSS) has made contact with Military and Police Chiefs. The CARICOM Battalion and the RSS Airwing remain on alert. The RSS Airwing will support deployment of relief supplies and personnel.
  • The Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) has pre-deployed teams stationed in the Bahamas and Haiti to support public health and medical needs.
  • World Food Programme (WFP) has activated measures for preparedness. WFP has an emergency operation in Haiti.
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID) / Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) has activated Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DART) and has placed staff in Haiti, Jamaica and The Bahamas to support damage assessment and response planning. Emergency relief supplies have been strategically prepositioned. OFDA has also confirmed its arrangements for providing support to the RRM through aerial reconnaissance. The DART plans to support rapid needs assessments in eastern Jamaica, in coordination with the government and development partners. Donations have been made/committed as follows:
  • An initial USD 300,000 for immediate relief efforts, including USD 150,000 to the American Red Cross (AmCross) to support the Haitian Red Cross Society in logistics, emergency relief item distribution and shelter management.
  • USD 150,000 to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to support distributions of emergency relief items, including shelter materials, as well as emergency evacuation shelter management operations in Grand’Anse and Sud departments.
  • Committed to mobilizing a container of Humanitarian Aid from their Miami Regional Warehouse to support Jamaica.
  • USD 100,000 through the Jamaica Red Cross (JRC) to support the distribution of relief supplies
  • An initial USD 100,000 to the Bahamas Red Cross (BRC) to respond to the anticipated needs of hurricane-affected populations.
  • European Commission Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) has allocated 255,000 Euros to support immediate response to Haiti (likely to be deployed through the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC)), with the possibility of additional funding being determined by assessments of the situation on the ground. ECHO is also deploying a Civil Protection Team to Haiti.
  • The European Union's (EU) Copernicus Emergency Management Service is providing satellite maps to assess damage and identify the most affected among the populated areas of Haiti. The EU is closely monitoring the situation and stands ready to provide further assistance. Available support includes temporary shelters, health services, safe drinking water and sanitation. A WASH team will arrive in Haiti Thursday, 6th October 2016.
  • The British Guard Ship, RFA Wave Knight, has arrived in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) to provide support as required. The ship is manned with an able crew and resources to facilitate response and relief efforts. Should TCI, or any of the other British Overseas Territories, not require the assistance of the Guard Ship, their response and relief efforts will be made available to another impacted PS upon request.
  • Global Affairs Canada (GAC)’s Inter-departmental task force met on Tuesday, October 4th, 2016 to discuss international support to Haiti.
  • The Department for International Development (DFID) has pre-deployed 2 persons in Jamaica and 4 persons in Haiti.

CDEMA continues to monitor the system and provide updates as necessary.

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