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Hurricane Dean in the Caribbean and Mexico
August 2007

Situation Reports
Related Information
Mexico
Jamaica
Belize
Dominica
St. Lucia
Haiti
 
Countries' Vulnerability to Disasters

Pictures from the Emergency

Publications on Hurricanes

Situation Report
29 August

Jamaica

General

Twenty-three of Jamaica’s 24 hospitals are now providing full service. The Lionel Town Hospital is only one that is currently offering only partial in-patient and emergency services. One hundred eight health facilities are reported damaged, but this figure is expected to rise as the South East Regional Health Authority has not yet completed its assessment.

The risk of disease outbreaks has increased because public health measures have been compromised in priority environmental health areas such as water quality, environmental sanitation, food safety and vector control. Some areas of Jamaica still remain without potable water and electricity.

As Jamaica recovers and communications and health services are restored, more accurate and detailed health data is available. As the graph below shows, an increasing number of health and hospital sites are reporting, providing more complete information on diseases and injuries.

Injuries and Deaths

What is being reported is a combination of hurricane-related injuries and injuries sustained in the aftermath of the hurricane, as people try to clean up and repair their homes. A number of injuries were sustained as a result of falls from roofs and ladders. Six deaths were reported due to Hurricane Dean. Two were due to electrocution when people come in contact with live electrical wires and are killed.

Communicable Diseases

Communicable disease surveillance also shows no evidence of outbreaks and only a small number of minor illnesses. In the meantime, several public health initiatives are being carried out. These include the food safety inspections, environmental sanitation with the provision of latrines and wastewater monitoring and clearing of waste. Comprehensive programmes to eradicate mosquitoes flies and rodents are being implemented in all parishes and focusing on most affected areas. Source reduction, larvicidal work and fogging are the priorities.

Shelters

The population remaining in temporary shelters continues to fall as people return to their homes or find alternative accommodations. A residual shelter population of 529 persons in 35 shelters (down from a pre-hurricane high of 2,354 in 131 shelters) was reported on August 27.

LSS/SUMA

The LSS/SUMA System (Logistics Support System), a multi-agency initiative, improves transparency in the management of humanitarian supplies. Setting up the LSS system in emergency situations enables reports to be prepared and shared with donors, authorities in a disaster-stricken country, humanitarian agencies and the media.

Airport Warehouse

The LSS SUMA system is operational at the airport in Kingston. Food supplies from Brazil, mixed relief supplies from the Cayman Islands and Spain were received yesterday and logged into this system. Transportation from the airport to the ODPEM warehouse posed a challenge; and the restricted schedule of the cargo area has caused delays in unloading aircrafts containing supplies.  

Seaport Warehouse

The ODPEM warehouse at one of the ports, Berth 11, was also opened today. The capacity of this warehouse is 32,500 sq ft, and cleanup operations remain in progress. Challenges include a lack of electricity in this section of the building and ventilation problems

Environment: Solid Waste Management

Two ‘grabbers” contracted by the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) remove organic waste which resulted from Hurricane Dean’s strong winds.

The rainfall following Hurricane Dean caused challenges for solid waste workers, as organic waste became saturated and mixed with mud.

Crews from the NSWMA removing organic waste from streets of Kingston, Jamaica

A section of Kingston, where organic solid waste mixed with domestic solid waste, creating a potential for the proliferation of rodents. The NSWMA is working assiduously to collect the waste and has been asking community members to avoid mixing waste.

PAHO/WHO Support

The PAHO/WHO Disaster Response Team HAS made arrangements with the National Water Commission (NWC) in Jamaica to truck water to four of the hardest hit communities on Jamaica’s south coast. Arrangements were also made to install three 600 gallon water tanks in each of three communities. For other communities, PAHO/WHO is arranging the delivery of 500 15-liter water containers and is working with a local branch of the Red Cross has supply water to three communities located in the Hills of St Andrew parish, which were cut off by the hurricane.

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Situation Report
24 August

Mexico

After striking Mexico on August 20, 2007, again on August 21, and moving across the entire country, Hurricane Dean is no longer a tropical storm. The Yucatan Peninsula bore the brunt of the hurricane, which struck the eastern most part of the country as a Category 5 storm. Now, four days later, it has been reduced to a rain event with sustained winds of 35 km/h and gusts of 45 km/h, moving west, and causing clouds in south and central regions of the country.

The Health Situation

The principal symptoms being reported to date in the affected population are dermatologic and ophthalmologic in nature. National authorities have strengthened the disease surveillance system for the detection, management and control of cases, vector-borne outbreaks and health problems related to poor sanitary conditions in flooded areas.

Although there are reports of the impact on agriculture and damage to homes, there is still no report on damage to health infrastructure. Currently, the government is giving priority to ensuring that shelters are well stocked and equipped.

Health Services and Infrastructure
State of Tabasco
State of Campeche
The State of Yucatán

Currently, there are 69 temporary housing 8,861 people. Reports of material damage are not yet available.

Other Damage

Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche: No loss of life, but 100,000 hectares of crops were damaged. Also domestic animals such as pigs and birds were lost. Significant damage to homes has also been reported. Mexico’s petroleum industry lost production of two million liters.

Veracruz: A disaster declaration was made for 57 municipalities; 300 homes destroyed and 27,000 people evacuated. There is significant damage to the agricultural sector and to livestock, although the financial cost of the damage has still not yet be tallied.

Puebla: One person dead. There was flooding in several municipalities resulting in the loss of homes. Losses were also registered in the agricultural and livestock sectors.

Hidalgo: Two people dead, 100,000 evacuated and several injuries reported. There have been floods in several parts of the state and precipitation continues. School activities were suspended. There is no electricity in several municipalities of the state.

Tampico, Tamaulipas: No major damage, although there were severe floods in several cities. In several municipalities damage to crops and to livestock was reported.

Mexico’s Response to Hurricane Dean
International Response
Assistance

• National and local authorities have been pleased to receive offers of cooperation, but at the same time have declared that up to now the country can defray the costs.

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Situation Report
23 August

Jamaica


Damaged roof at Bellevue Hospital in Jamaica. (More pictures)

Four persons confirmed dead and 241 others were reported injured. Reports are coming in about primary care centres, hospitals, infirmaries, children’s homes and shelters islandwide report relating a picture of widespread damage in the southern and south eastern region mainly.

Jamaica has 346 health centres and 23 public hospitals islandwide, and contact has not been possible with several of these. Various health centres suffered considerable damage and others are now only partially functioning because of lack of water, electricity and other necessities. From the reports received from primary health care facilities so far, there has been considerable damage to the roofs at the health centres in Albert Town in Trelawny and major structural damage to the Yallahs Health Centre in the parish of St. Thomas. Many hospitals, especially outside the Kingston area, are without piped water and must rely on tank water (see Jamaica's Situation Report of 20 August for more information on damage to hospitals).

All 13 parishes have submitted reports on shelters and the shelter population. A total of 52 shelters are known to be open, housing a population of 1,791 persons (data reported Wednesday, August 22). However, the number of persons remaining in shelters is declining and some parishes have closed their shelters. However in the parishes in the south and south east of the country, the number of persons remain relatively high.

PAHO/WHO and Ministry of Health Actions

The Ministry of Health continues to manage emergency operations form the Bustamante Children’s Hospital, where the PAHO/WHO Response Team has also set up operations. One PAHOWHO epidemiologist is compiling information at the EOC and another also from PAHO is currently in the field to establish an emergency surveillance system. A water and sanitation engineer is assessing damage and the environmental health impact to the health centre in Yallahs.

A PAHO/WHO team reports that four buildings of the Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital suffered serious roof damage. Male and female patients are cramped together in very precarious conditions. Bellevue is the largest psychiatric hospital in the region, housing more than 800 patients. The hospital has neither running water nor electricity, some water tanks were damaged and the sewerage system is overflowing. Able-bodied patients at this hospital are helping to clean the debris with the support of some staff members who have not left to care for their own homes. PAHO/WHO is assessing damage to the four hospital buildings and evaluate the possibility of emergency repairs—which will have to incorporate disaster mitigation measures.

PAHO, in collaboration with Ministry of Health, will purchase additional vector control insecticide and equipment to ensure that the gains already made in the anti-malaria campaign are maintained. Jamaica has had no new malaria cases reported in eight weeks. However, the hurricane has left stagnant water pools due to rain and storm surge are now a common feature throughout the affected areas.


Belize

Hurricane Dean made landfall approximately 60 miles north of Belize’s border with Mexico very early on 21 August . The category 5 hurricane had winds of 165 mph. Particularly hard hit with the districts of Corozal and Orange Walk as well as the Cayes (Corozal Town is still without electricity). The National Emergency Management Organization reports that more than 1,000 homes were damaged, with 318 destroyed.

Hurricane Dean damaged roofs, uprooted trees, downs power lines, interrupted communications and the water supply. Major public roads were not damaged. The agricultural sector appears to be the most affected, with damage to papaya and sugar cane crops. People in vulnerable communities along the coast and Cayes evacuated voluntarily. The Ministry of Health estimates that 20,000 people were directly affected by the storm, but no major health concerns have been reported to date.

Currently, there have been no reports of medical emergencies or fatalities attributed to Hurricane Dean. Isolated flooding in Corozal and San Pedro may present potential vector, food and water borne problems. The Corozal Community Hospital is running on a generator. This is a cause for concern if the demand for services increases. The Emergency Hospital in Orange Walk Town developed major leaking problems as the storm passed. Plans were implemented for immediate relocation in order to have minimal interruption of services. Two health centers in Corozal and Orange Walk also experience water damage but remain functional.

The Ministry of Health activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and implemented preparedness and response activities in close coordination with the District Health Teams. Assessment teams were deployed to the impacted area and an aerial assessment of the area was conducted when the “all clear” was given. Health sector interventions have been focusing on the prevention of acute respiratory infections, vector, food and water borne diseases. PAHO/WHO has worked closely with the Ministry of Health team within the EOC and in conducting the immediate assessment after the storm.

An UNDAC team was pre-positioned in Belize and has been working closely with the National Damage and Needs Assessment Committee. The US Southern Command, based in Honduras, has offered assistance and the Ministry of Health has accepted a primary health care team.

Recommendations
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Situation Report
21 August

This report updates the previous PAHO/WHO reports. For countries not mentioned in this update, please refer to yesterday’s report, using the links shown.

Mexico

Hurricane Dean roared into the Mexican city of Chetumal on Tuesday morning, August 21, as a category 5 hurricane. Fortunately, it struck one of the less densely populated areas of the coastline. Early reports indicate there was little damage to health facilities. Hurricane Dean has exited the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and is expected to intensify as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico before slamming once again into the Mexican coastline. Hurricane Gilbert, almost 20 years ago (1988), followed a similar trajectory, crossing the Yucatan Peninsula before making landfall again and causing more than 200 deaths in and around the Mexican city of Monterrey.

Belize

The Mexican city of Chetumal, which received the direct hit of Hurricane Dean, is on Mexico’s border of Belize. The PAHO/WHO office in Belize has provided this early assessment of the situation:

Jamaica

Hurricane Dean made landfall in Jamaica as a Category 4 hurricane late Sunday, 19 August. A PAHO/WHO team, together with health staff from the Ministry of Health, continues to conduct a damage and needs assessment throughout the affected parishes in Jamaica. See PAHO/WHO report of 20 August for the latest information on damage to health facilities.

Cayman Islands

See PAHO/WHO report of 20 August

Haiti

See report of 19 August 2007

Dominican Republic

Hurricane Dean passed over the Dominican Republic on Sunday, leaving one dead and more than 300 houses destroyed or partially destroyed. Almost 1,600 persons are being housed in temporary shelters. Communication has still not been restored with several communities. No health problems have been reported.

Saint Lucia

In addition to the damage to the Victoria Hospital reported in our situation report of 19 August, the St. Jude Hospital in Vieux Fort, Saint Lucia, on the island’s south side, also suffered physical damage to its buildings - part of the roof of the medical ward was ripped off, crashing onto and through the roof of the emergency room, and landing in a treatment room in the Emergency Department. Fortunately, no one was injured in this incident.

In addition, a section of the Hospital’s cafeteria lost part of its roof. The Ministry of Health will be issuing a detailed report on the health sector. In the meantime, click here to read the report prepared by St. Lucia’s National Emergency & Management Office (NEMO).

Dominica

PAHO/WHO’s Caribbean Program Coordination has been in contact with health authorities in Dominica and reports the following update:


Martinique

See report of 19 August 2007

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Situation Report
20 August 2007

This report updates the PAHO/WHO report of 19 August. For countries not mentioned in this update, please refer to yesterday’s report, using the links shown.

Jamaica

Hurricane Dean made landfall in Jamaica as a Category 4 hurricane on Sunday, 19 August, and on Monday morning, a PAHO/WHO team began an initial assessment of the storm’s effects. Efforts are ongoing, but the following information is available:

In the South East Region (Kingston and the Parishes of St. Andrew, St. Catherine and St. Thomas), PAHO/WHO is still trying to establish communication with the Princess Margaret Hospital.

In the South region, the Black River and Lionel Town, Percy Junor and Mandeville Hospitals all weathered the storm without sustaining damage. The May Pen Hospital has slight roof damage.

In the North East Region, major damage was reported at the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital; PAHO/WHO is attempting to confirm this.

In the Western Region, patients were evacuated from floors 8-10 in the Cornwall Hospital. The entire roof of one health center is gone. The Falmouth Hospital has roof damage.

Four private hospitals in Kingston are reported in good condition.


Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands, which lie to the northwest of Jamaica and south of Cuba, also felt the effects of Hurricane Dean, but little damage was reported. There were high waves along the coast and flooded roads, but no injuries were reported. There were localized power outages and the water supply was shut off as a precautionary measure, but both should be restored by Tuesday.

All health infrastructure withstood the effects of Hurricane Dean. There were approximately 2,000 people in temporary shelters.


Belize

On Monday, August 20, Belize declared a Phase II alert throughout the country. The PAHO/WHO office will monitor the situation from Belmopan, and be in close contact with the Ministry of Health. One PAHO/WHO headquarters staff member has been deployed to Belize to support those already on the ground.


Haiti

See report of 19 August 2007


Dominican Republic

Hurricane Dean passed over the Dominican Republic on Sunday, leaving one dead and more than 300 houses destroyed or partially destroyed. Almost 1,600 persons are being housed in temporary shelters. Communication has still not been restored with several communities. No health problems have been reported.


Saint Lucia

See report of 19 August 2007


Dominica

See report of 19 August 2007


Martinique

See report of 19 August 2007

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Situation Report
19 August 2007

Jamaica

Up to 230 communities in Jamaica are thought to be vulnerable to Hurricane Dean. The country’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated and is calling for health departments and hospitals to activate all preparedness plans, as currently only non-critical patients have been discharged and admissions limited to emergencies. A limited supply of basic pharmaceuticals is thought to be on hand. It is almost certain that small water containers (5-10 gallons) and larger water tanks will be needed, as well as water purification tablets.

At a meeting in Kingston, UN agencies and donor countries reviewed the standby emergency procedures they have in place.


Belize

Haiti

Before Hurricane Dean struck Haiti on Sunday, August 20, hospitals in the departments of Sud and Sudest had already activated their emergency plans. Patients were released or placed in a safe area. Extra medical staff was deployed or on stand-by and where possible, medical supplies were pre-positioned.

Once the storm passed, it was reported that most damage, while relatively minor, was confined to the southern peninsula. Two deaths were reported and dozens injured. A PAHO/WHO/Ministry of Health assessment confirmed that the roof of the Hopital St. Michel in Jacmel was not damaged because of the storm, but rather because it was already in a precarious condition, which allowed the operating room to be flooded. Cleanup operations have already begun. The Hopital Imaculee Conception in Cayes and the Hopital St Antoine in the town of Jeremie are both functional. No deaths were reported, although 5-6 people were injured during the storm. PAHO/WHO is currently conducting damage and needs assessments in the most affected areas. Conditions in the water and sanitation sector are being assessed, but no major problems have been reported at the time of this report.


Dominican Republic

Hurricane Dean’s rains affected the eastern part of the Dominican Republic and some families in the most at-risk areas were moved in temporary shelters until the storm passed. One death was reported and the ensuing floods caused some economic damage. The National Emergency Commission credits coordination by the country agencies that form the Commission with helping to minimize damage.


St. Lucia

The Victoria Hospital is Saint Lucia’s main public hospital and has a capacity of 160 beds. It is one of five hospitals in the island of 72,000. The hospital lost the second story roof over the paediatric ward (capacity 29 beds); the children had already been evacuated because authorities were aware of the vulnerability of the roof. The hospital is running on stand-by power.

These pictures clearly show just how vulnerable the roof over the pediatric wing of the Victoria Hospital was: a lack of hurricane straps, hollow blocks and no steel re-enforcement. (more pictures)

There were no reports of damage to health clinics or the hospital in southern part of the Saint Lucia.


Dominica

(see pictures)


Martinique

On Sunday, August 19 Hurricane Dean left 70% of the island is without electricity or water. It is expected to take five days to restore service. The island’s entire crop of bananas and sugar cane was lost. No strategic infrastructure (hospital, EOC, airport, refinery) was affected. The supply of medicines was not affected. Epidemiological surveillance for dengue has been initiated. Hurricane Dean had a greater impact along the southern Atlantic coast (Marin and St. Anne) than in the capital, Fort de France.

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Situation Report
17 August 2007

Dominica


St. Lucia


Martinique

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