Major Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

by Bennette Roach

Destruction dominate and total devastation to northern Caribbean Islands, the wrath avoids Montserrat

Readers who can are encouraged to visit: www.themontserratreporter.com and its facebook page: The Montserrat Reporter (https://www.facebook.com/themontserratreporter/) for more detailed coverage.

Hurricane Maria visited Dominica

Officially, the Atlantic hurricane season runs from 1 June to 30 November. But this year will up till no doubt be recorded as having the worst hurricane disasters in known history.

The major hurricanes began with hurricane Harvey said when it was approaching its run as an extremely destructive Atlantic hurricane which became the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005. No one will forget what she did to Katrina, but when Wilma hit it ended a record 12-year drought in which no hurricanes made landfall at such an intensity in the country.

A flooded residential neighborhood near Interstate 10 in Houston, Texas

But then came Harvey. It was the eight named storm, evolving into the third hurricane and the first major one for this year. Harvey developed from a tropical wave to the east of the Lesser Antilles, reaching tropical storm status on August 17. The storm crossed through the Windward Islands on the following day, passing just south of Barbados and later near Saint Vincent. Upon entering the Caribbean Sea, Harvey degenerated into a tropical wave north of Colombia early on August 19.

People displaced by flooding fill the shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston

By August 23, Harvey then began to rapidly intensify, on August 24, regaining tropical storm status and becoming a hurricane later that day. Moving generally northwest, Harvey’s intensification phase stalled slightly overnight from August 24–25; however, Harvey soon resumed strengthening and quickly became a major hurricane and attained Category 4 intensity later that day.

Hours later, Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas, at peak intensity. Afterwards, rapid weakening ensued, and Harvey had degraded to a tropical storm as it stalled near the coastline of the state, dropping torrential and unprecedented amounts of rainfall over the Lone Star state. On August 28, it emerged back over the Gulf of Mexico, strengthening slightly before making a third and final landfall in Louisiana on August 29. As Harvey drifted inland, it quickly weakened again as it became extratropical on September 1, before dissipating two days later, drenching texas with a record near 52 inches of rain.

That ended beginning on a strange part touching off Guyana, Trinidad and Barbados, countries what rarely ever worry about hurricanes, killing one in Guyana and 83 in the US wreaking damage estimated from US$70 to $200 billion. (http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-hurricane-harvey-explained-20170825-htmlstory.html)

That ended, but thus began the record that will go down in history as said earlier, in time for the beginning of a repeated devastation of islands in the lesser Antilles in the northern Caribbean.

Evan Myers, chief operating officer of AccuWeather, said in a statement, of Irma ripening on the heels of the dying Harvey, usually with a focus firstly and generally on the US. “This hurricane has the potential to be a major event for the East Coast. It also has the potential to significantly strain FEMA and other governmental resources occurring so quickly on the heels of (Hurricane) Harvey,” he said.

“We’re looking at Irma as a very significant event,” Ronald Jackson, executive director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, said by phone. “I can’t recall a tropical cone developing that rapidly into a major hurricane prior to arriving in the central Caribbean.”

So, here comes Hurricane ‘Irma’ and close on its heel ‘Jose’. There is no shortage of imagination on Social Media as there was “A little annonymous shared message to Irma!”

💥Dear IRMA💥

Listen darling, we understand you and HARVEY had some ups and downs, and then he left you and his son JOSE…💔

But you don’t have to chase him, honey! 😡

Women get their hearts broken everyday but they don’t just take that drama out on EVERYBODY that’s close to them! 😭

Why don’t you and little JOSE just chill and enjoy the Atlantic? WE don’t want to be in the middle of all your domestic mess PLEASE!!!

But as if to show consternation, Irma hit the islands with glancing blows to Dominica, Guadeloupe Montserrat, incrementally to Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, while almost totally devastating and Anguilla, Barbuda forcing complete evacuation of that island. Irma continued on to shatter St. Martin, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten and St. Barts. Vieques, Culebra, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands with Category 5 winds and gusts up to near 200 mph. It moved on to Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

That all began on the 4th through the 6th and 7th and continuing, and then here comes jealous Maria after Jose had gone into the Atlantic on a lonely journey. Maria maintaining a WNW but on a more southern path that Irma, touched off St. Lucia but Dominica who had been devastated two years ago by Erica, took the brunt with the eye path travelling dead centre across Dominica. Irma also started out as a tropical storm but whammed into Dominica with Category 4 winds passing Guadeloupe and Montserrat well south, but still causing Montserrat however, to experience its strongest winds yet since Hugo.

By Wednesday Maria had pounded Dominica and Puerto Rico and Montserrat after shutting down businesses at noon on Monday, opening hurricane shelters by 6.00 p.m., better withstood mostly winds. some rain, gusts.

One report on Montserrat was as follows: The island experienced heavy gusts and severe rainfall, particularly in the most-densely populated north, but there are no/no reports of fatalities or serious injuries and the hospital is undamaged

Mobile, landlines, TV and radio networks are largely down and the radio broadcast tower was toppled.

Premier Donaldson Romeo in a statement late on Thursday described in more detail: “Montserrat has been fortunate.  However, our Island has sustained from the passage of MARIA.  From what I have seen and the information gathered so far in assessing our current situation, we realize that many of our crops and trees have been damaged or totally uprooted.  Some have partially or totally lost roofs and side walls to their homes and businesses.  There have been minor damages that resulted in leaks to the hospital building.  However, full services at the hospital have been restored.  Some of our Government Offices in Brades, have lost sections of their roofs, and large sections of the outer prefab walls were ripped out.”  

There have been some criticisms of the fact that Montserrat has always been slow and in some instances not stating a value of the damage to the island after hurricane and other natural disastrous events. The Premier however, said in the statement “Public Works Department is currently doing an Island wide assessment of damages to the roads, bridges, private homes, businesses and Government buildings.”

“He said special attention is being given to houses in Look Out and Davy Hill or where temporary structures were built,” advising meanwhile, “CDERA (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency) has already been contacted, in order to secure their expertise and support going forward.”

Reportedly, the Premier’s statement was met with consternation, with an unconfirmed suggestion that the Premier should consult with her on issues of such nature. It is reported several members of the NDPRAC Committee considered the Governor’s intervention disrespectful of the Premier. Both Premier and Governor co-chair NDEPRAC.

The truth of this would be very confusing, but some official reports suggest that an attitude has developed as to a power struggle in the affairs of Montserrat

The Premier continued in his statement to lament that “the entire Island has been without electricity since Tuesday evening.  However, Montserrat Utilities has reported the following:

  • Electricity has already been restored from the Carr’s Bay main road all the way south to most of the woodlands area. In the upcoming days MUL will be working tirelessly to restore power throughout the entire island.
  • Generators have been deployed to the main water reservoirs, to ensure that the tanks are refilled and that the water supply is not interrupted.
  • Roads continue to be cleared, starting with the main roads and working gradually into villages.”

He noted air access to and from Montserrat, “has already resumed.  The ferry will recommence its operations as soon as the sea has calmed and it is safe to do so.”

Telecommunication services by both Flow and Digicel are gradually being restored.

While pointing out that hurricane season is not over and “we may, God forbid, have to prepare for another storm before the season ends.”

He thanked ALL. “Special thanks to those who took friends and relatives into their homes.”

“I must also recognize the hard work of the staff and volunteers of the DMCA, the Police, Fire & Rescue workers, Red Cross volunteers and First Aiders,” he continued. Thanking on the way “doctors, nurses and health staff, shelter managers, other volunteers and public servants…”

“Special thanks to all essential services workers, especially the staff at MUL, Flow and Digicel, who now have the task of working to restore services to the Island,” concluding , “We must also show appreciation to the private sector for their efforts in supporting in one way or the other to make services continue to be available to our people.”

First of course it was Irma that completely demolished Barbuda of the twin island state with Antigua, so it did Anguilla, St. Maarten, British and US Virgin Islands, in particular Tortola.

Statistics and briefs of the onslaught of Irma and Maria follow, up to September 22, 2017.

Statistics  
Fatalities Anguilla : 1 (TBC)

Antigua & Barbuda: 1 (TBC)

British Virgin Islands (BVI): 7 (TBC)

Cuba: 10 (TBC)

Dominica: 15 (TBC)

Injured Anguilla: 13 (TBC)

BVI: hundreds (TBC)

People affected Up to 265,000 people (UNOCHA)
People displaced 34,000 displaced in Haiti and Dominican republic

1,413 evacuated from Barbuda to Antigua

Houses damaged / destroyed 75,000 buildings exposed to 252 Km/H wind zone (UNOCHA)
Context
  • Maria made landfall in Dominica in the early hours of Tuesday morning, passing close to Guadeloupe and Montserrat.
  • Maria remains a dangerous Cat 5 having passed Montserrat overnight
  • Hurricane Maria made landfall over Puerto Rico as a category 4 hurricane.
  • During Thursday, Maria passed close to the north coast of the Dominican Republic, probably remaining offshore.
  • UNOCHA released their regional response plan on 14.09.17 with support of CDEMA (Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency).
  • Early remote assessments estimate economic losses totalling US$10,000,000,000 across the affected islands
Situational update

Anguilla:

  • DFID have imported a replacement generator for the desalination plant to be installed this week. Network requires testing but hoping for restoration of public water supply within a week or two.
  • Supply chains reestablished with ships regularly offloading at Sandy Ground commercial port.
  • Shops and banks reopening since 14th September. ATM withdrawals currently limited to $200.
  • Petrol/diesel supplies restored. Fuel rationing relaxed but still queues at fuel stations.
  • High demand for building supplies. UK mobilising resources & transport.
  • It is hopeful that the ALHCS and Public Primary schools will commence teaching in early October. Outreach Pre-School will open on Monday, September 18th.
  • The airport and cargo port are functional. The air traffic control tower suffered some damage but emergency planes are able to land. Roads have already been cleared of debris but wires from power lines are still visible on many roads.
  • Food and water are not a priority. Supermarkets are open and the main issue is ensuring that they continue to be stocked.
  • Security situation is calm and prisoners remain in the prison. There has been some limited “looting” mostly for alcohol, and people taking advantage of unsecured goods.
  • Needs assessments estimate that over 90% of the housing stock has been severely damaged with many houses uninhabitable.

British Virgin Islands:

  • The Power station was considered vulnerable thus a planned shutdown has been effected. Similarly, local mobile phone networks have been deliberately shutdown causing a temporary communications and power outages.
  • Terminal building for ferry to Jost Van Dyke severely damaged but immigration official confirmed that there is a private individual who is operating an informal ferry, the Jetty is functional.
  • Official email for persons seeking information Dept for Disaster Management: bviddmirma@gmail.com.
  • Communication systems have been impacted and remain unreliable.
  • Shelter is currently the biggest need identified. Schools, Community centres and churches are currently being used as emergency shelters. Main role of RC is to support running of these. However no confirmed figure for those residing in temporary shelter.
  • Main BVI affected, Tortola
  • The department of Disaster Management building has been badly damaged and they are working from the hospital.

 Dominica

  • The IFRC has lost almost all contact with Dominica but has reported significant damage and widespread flooding in the capital city of Roseau.
  • Maria made landfall on Monday 18 Sept in Dominica. Reports of severe damage to property, flooding, and landslides; damage likely to be catastrophic.
  • The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) will deploy a Rapid Needs Assessment Team (RNAT) to Dominica on 20 September, along with partners and UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination personnel.

Turks and Caicos Islands:

  • There are currently 18 NGOs on TCI and a coordination meeting was held on 16.09.17
  • 09.17. Flow restored mobile services to South Caicos and Fortis succeeded in restoring power to some areas. TCIG agreed with TCIAA for persons to be allowed to charge their phones at the Airport.
  • Digicel continues to restore areas and traveled to Grand Turk today to continue efforts to restore full connectivity.
  • Waiver issued on 14.09.17 for the road tax on fuel which should see a reduction in fuel ahead of the influx of generators.
  • Grand Turk: Biggest priority is drinking water. Supplies running low, desalination plant is damaged (Govt is working on it but could take long time), water tankers not operating as no electricity, no rain and very hot, shallow well water is not drinkable.
  • Power and water companies prioritising the restoration of service across all islands; limited electricity in Providenciales with other islands dependent on generator/solar power.
  • Electricity can be expected to be inoperable for several months, possibly until Jan.2018.
  • Mosquito presence increasingly aggressive: the Ministry of Environmental Health have conducted larviciding.

Montserrat

  • The island experienced heavy gusts and severe rainfall, particularly in the most-densely populated north, but there are no/no reports of fatalities or serious injuries and the hospital is undamaged
  • Mobile, landlines, TV and radio networks are largely down and the radio broadcast tower was toppled. Governor has VHF comms to disaster management dept.

Antigua & Barbuda:

  • Approximately 100 unaccompanied minors from Barbuda evacuated in Antigua.
  • Barbuda is the worst affected from Irma, more than 90% of buildings affected.
  • Prime Minister said that 50% of the population of around 1,000 people left homeless.
  • On 08.09.17, authorities carried out a mandatory evacuation to the larger island of Antigua in preparation for hurricane Jose.

St Kitts & Nevis:

  • Minor damage has been reported in Nevis and St Kitts is conducting an initial situation assessment.
  • The Island Prime Minister reported significant damage to property and infrastructure, as well as power failures. The airport reopened on 07.09.17

Cuba:

  • The country continues the recovery efforts following Hurricane Irma, with an emphasis on affected people protection, restoration of water supply and electricity services, and sanitation actions for public places.
  • Joint work is being carried out in the recovery of damaged health facilities. Collapsed medical offices of affected communities are relocated. Health authorities maintain active epidemiological surveillance and outbreaks of transmissible diseases have not been registered.
  • Cuba withstood damages to 13 of its 15 provinces, reporting damage to water supply, agriculture and telecommunications.
  • Most major airports in Cuba have reopened, but Cayo Coco Jardines del Rey Airport (CCC) and Santa Clara Abel Santamaria Airport (SNU) are both scheduled to remain closed until the last week of September due to damage from Irma.
  • In Havana, Irma landed with the force of a tropical storm, damaging electrical infrastructure, which has yet to be repaired due to flooding. Nearly 400 schools were affected, and one of the main hospitals in the capital, Hermanos Ameijeiras saw flooding on the bottom floors.
  • Government has declared that electric infrastructure has been affected in almost all the countries.
  • Irma made landfall – the first category five hurricane to do so in Cuba since 1924 – on the Camaguey archipelago, just off the northern coast, late on 08.09.17.
  • 1 million people have been evacuated.

Please visit our Facebook page for photos of the ravages : The Montserrat Reporter – Facebook/

 

 

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The Montserrat Reporter - August 18, 2017

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by Bennette Roach

Destruction dominate and total devastation to northern Caribbean Islands, the wrath avoids Montserrat

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Readers who can are encouraged to visit: www.themontserratreporter.com and its facebook page: The Montserrat Reporter (https://www.facebook.com/themontserratreporter/) for more detailed coverage.

Hurricane Maria visited Dominica

Officially, the Atlantic hurricane season runs from 1 June to 30 November. But this year will up till no doubt be recorded as having the worst hurricane disasters in known history.

The major hurricanes began with hurricane Harvey said when it was approaching its run as an extremely destructive Atlantic hurricane which became the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005. No one will forget what she did to Katrina, but when Wilma hit it ended a record 12-year drought in which no hurricanes made landfall at such an intensity in the country.

A flooded residential neighborhood near Interstate 10 in Houston, Texas

But then came Harvey. It was the eight named storm, evolving into the third hurricane and the first major one for this year. Harvey developed from a tropical wave to the east of the Lesser Antilles, reaching tropical storm status on August 17. The storm crossed through the Windward Islands on the following day, passing just south of Barbados and later near Saint Vincent. Upon entering the Caribbean Sea, Harvey degenerated into a tropical wave north of Colombia early on August 19.

People displaced by flooding fill the shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston

By August 23, Harvey then began to rapidly intensify, on August 24, regaining tropical storm status and becoming a hurricane later that day. Moving generally northwest, Harvey’s intensification phase stalled slightly overnight from August 24–25; however, Harvey soon resumed strengthening and quickly became a major hurricane and attained Category 4 intensity later that day.

Hours later, Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas, at peak intensity. Afterwards, rapid weakening ensued, and Harvey had degraded to a tropical storm as it stalled near the coastline of the state, dropping torrential and unprecedented amounts of rainfall over the Lone Star state. On August 28, it emerged back over the Gulf of Mexico, strengthening slightly before making a third and final landfall in Louisiana on August 29. As Harvey drifted inland, it quickly weakened again as it became extratropical on September 1, before dissipating two days later, drenching texas with a record near 52 inches of rain.

That ended beginning on a strange part touching off Guyana, Trinidad and Barbados, countries what rarely ever worry about hurricanes, killing one in Guyana and 83 in the US wreaking damage estimated from US$70 to $200 billion. (http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-hurricane-harvey-explained-20170825-htmlstory.html)

That ended, but thus began the record that will go down in history as said earlier, in time for the beginning of a repeated devastation of islands in the lesser Antilles in the northern Caribbean.

Evan Myers, chief operating officer of AccuWeather, said in a statement, of Irma ripening on the heels of the dying Harvey, usually with a focus firstly and generally on the US. “This hurricane has the potential to be a major event for the East Coast. It also has the potential to significantly strain FEMA and other governmental resources occurring so quickly on the heels of (Hurricane) Harvey,” he said.

“We’re looking at Irma as a very significant event,” Ronald Jackson, executive director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, said by phone. “I can’t recall a tropical cone developing that rapidly into a major hurricane prior to arriving in the central Caribbean.”

So, here comes Hurricane ‘Irma’ and close on its heel ‘Jose’. There is no shortage of imagination on Social Media as there was “A little annonymous shared message to Irma!”

💥Dear IRMA💥

Listen darling, we understand you and HARVEY had some ups and downs, and then he left you and his son JOSE…💔

But you don’t have to chase him, honey! 😡

Women get their hearts broken everyday but they don’t just take that drama out on EVERYBODY that’s close to them! 😭

Why don’t you and little JOSE just chill and enjoy the Atlantic? WE don’t want to be in the middle of all your domestic mess PLEASE!!!

But as if to show consternation, Irma hit the islands with glancing blows to Dominica, Guadeloupe Montserrat, incrementally to Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, while almost totally devastating and Anguilla, Barbuda forcing complete evacuation of that island. Irma continued on to shatter St. Martin, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten and St. Barts. Vieques, Culebra, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands with Category 5 winds and gusts up to near 200 mph. It moved on to Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

That all began on the 4th through the 6th and 7th and continuing, and then here comes jealous Maria after Jose had gone into the Atlantic on a lonely journey. Maria maintaining a WNW but on a more southern path that Irma, touched off St. Lucia but Dominica who had been devastated two years ago by Erica, took the brunt with the eye path travelling dead centre across Dominica. Irma also started out as a tropical storm but whammed into Dominica with Category 4 winds passing Guadeloupe and Montserrat well south, but still causing Montserrat however, to experience its strongest winds yet since Hugo.

By Wednesday Maria had pounded Dominica and Puerto Rico and Montserrat after shutting down businesses at noon on Monday, opening hurricane shelters by 6.00 p.m., better withstood mostly winds. some rain, gusts.

One report on Montserrat was as follows: The island experienced heavy gusts and severe rainfall, particularly in the most-densely populated north, but there are no/no reports of fatalities or serious injuries and the hospital is undamaged

Mobile, landlines, TV and radio networks are largely down and the radio broadcast tower was toppled.

Premier Donaldson Romeo in a statement late on Thursday described in more detail: “Montserrat has been fortunate.  However, our Island has sustained from the passage of MARIA.  From what I have seen and the information gathered so far in assessing our current situation, we realize that many of our crops and trees have been damaged or totally uprooted.  Some have partially or totally lost roofs and side walls to their homes and businesses.  There have been minor damages that resulted in leaks to the hospital building.  However, full services at the hospital have been restored.  Some of our Government Offices in Brades, have lost sections of their roofs, and large sections of the outer prefab walls were ripped out.”  

There have been some criticisms of the fact that Montserrat has always been slow and in some instances not stating a value of the damage to the island after hurricane and other natural disastrous events. The Premier however, said in the statement “Public Works Department is currently doing an Island wide assessment of damages to the roads, bridges, private homes, businesses and Government buildings.”

“He said special attention is being given to houses in Look Out and Davy Hill or where temporary structures were built,” advising meanwhile, “CDERA (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency) has already been contacted, in order to secure their expertise and support going forward.”

Reportedly, the Premier’s statement was met with consternation, with an unconfirmed suggestion that the Premier should consult with her on issues of such nature. It is reported several members of the NDPRAC Committee considered the Governor’s intervention disrespectful of the Premier. Both Premier and Governor co-chair NDEPRAC.

The truth of this would be very confusing, but some official reports suggest that an attitude has developed as to a power struggle in the affairs of Montserrat

The Premier continued in his statement to lament that “the entire Island has been without electricity since Tuesday evening.  However, Montserrat Utilities has reported the following:

He noted air access to and from Montserrat, “has already resumed.  The ferry will recommence its operations as soon as the sea has calmed and it is safe to do so.”

Telecommunication services by both Flow and Digicel are gradually being restored.

While pointing out that hurricane season is not over and “we may, God forbid, have to prepare for another storm before the season ends.”

He thanked ALL. “Special thanks to those who took friends and relatives into their homes.”

“I must also recognize the hard work of the staff and volunteers of the DMCA, the Police, Fire & Rescue workers, Red Cross volunteers and First Aiders,” he continued. Thanking on the way “doctors, nurses and health staff, shelter managers, other volunteers and public servants…”

“Special thanks to all essential services workers, especially the staff at MUL, Flow and Digicel, who now have the task of working to restore services to the Island,” concluding , “We must also show appreciation to the private sector for their efforts in supporting in one way or the other to make services continue to be available to our people.”

First of course it was Irma that completely demolished Barbuda of the twin island state with Antigua, so it did Anguilla, St. Maarten, British and US Virgin Islands, in particular Tortola.

Statistics and briefs of the onslaught of Irma and Maria follow, up to September 22, 2017.

Statistics  
Fatalities Anguilla : 1 (TBC)

Antigua & Barbuda: 1 (TBC)

British Virgin Islands (BVI): 7 (TBC)

Cuba: 10 (TBC)

Dominica: 15 (TBC)

Injured Anguilla: 13 (TBC)

BVI: hundreds (TBC)

People affected Up to 265,000 people (UNOCHA)
People displaced 34,000 displaced in Haiti and Dominican republic

1,413 evacuated from Barbuda to Antigua

Houses damaged / destroyed 75,000 buildings exposed to 252 Km/H wind zone (UNOCHA)
Context
Situational update

Anguilla:

British Virgin Islands:

 Dominica

Turks and Caicos Islands:

Montserrat

Antigua & Barbuda:

St Kitts & Nevis:

Cuba:

Please visit our Facebook page for photos of the ravages : The Montserrat Reporter – Facebook/