Sample from Grenada on Hurricane Ivan
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Update on recovery process and humanitarian effort in Grenada
Barbados, Sep 13, 2004 (CDERA)
SITUATION UPDATE – 9:30 pm
This report of the progress on the ground is based on a CDERA field assessment which was conducted September 12, 2004. While the situation is improving
incrementally, a considerable effort is still required especially in the area of food distribution and internal and external public information. Information dissemination
remains a challenge but efforts are underway to address it. An UNDAC team arrived tonight and successfully established a wireless Internet connection. Tests were
successful. This now significantly boost the speed of data transfer between the EOC and CDERA.
Deaths and Births
Number of deaths between September 7 – 11, 2004:
37 of which 28 were attributable to Hurricane Ivan
Number of births between September 7-11, 2004: 20
Number of injuries between September 7-11, 2004:
353 people seen at the Grenada General Hospital
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell declared a limited state of emergency Sunday September 12, 2004. The state of emergency was to be enforced for 24 hours in order
to transport relief supplies, without hindrance, to the distribution centres. Under the state of emergency, no member of the public was permitted to be on the street in
town areas. The few gas stations operating were ordered closed except for one which supply petrol to the emergency relief management operation.
The police have been appealing to prisoners to turn themselves in. The “Grenada 17” (the people found guilty of overthrowing the Maurice Bishop Government in
1983) and other prisoners informed the police of their whereabouts. An active hunt is on for the other prisoners. The police are particularly keen to recapture 22
hardened criminals and put them back behind bars.
Food distribution began on September 8, 2004 – the first day after the hurricane – to shelters. Meat which was in cold storage was also widely distributed throughout
the day and night.
The first shipment of food from the warehouses went out to all seven parishes on the weekend (St Georges, St John, St Marks, St Patrick, St David, St Andrew and
Carriacou and Petite Martinique). Food went out to St Georges, St Patrick and Carriacou and Petite Martinique on Saturday while St John, St Marks, and St Andrew
were serviced on Sunday.
The food distribution plan is to send the food to a central location and then have it distributed to districts within the parish however the movement to the people has
The food as it is received at the airport is transported under armed guard to the Grenada SSU Headquarters, just a stone’s throw away from the airport and operated
by the military.
From there, under the direction of the EOC’s Logistical Manager, the food is transported to community distribution centres.
Food received at the St Georges Harbour is transported directly to the community distribution centres under the direction of the EOCs Logistical Manager.
Limited water distribution started September 8, 2004 – the day after the hurricane to the shelters.
Water bladders (each with a capacity of 10,000 gallons) were received within the first 72 hours after the September 7, 2004 hurricane when deployment started.
OXFAM is collaborating with the public health officials and liaised with the water engineer from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to set up
community water tanks. OXFAM has also been engaged in identifying critical shortage to inform the placement of water tanks.
Piped water is expected to be restored to most of the island by Sunday September 19, 2004 as repair crews were in the field. The status as of September 11, 2004
30 per cent of the supply restored. Two water trucks in operation. Expected to increase to 90 per cent by Tuesday
Seven per cent of supply restored. Shared water truck with St Marks in operation. Expected to increase to 32 per cent by Monday and 100 per cent by Wednesday
Twenty five per cent of the supply restored. Shared water truck with St Johns in operation. Estimated improvements not available.
50 per cent of the supply restored. Full capacity expected by Wednesday
75 per cent of the supply restored. Full capacity expected by Sunday
About 2 per cent of the supply restored, 50 per cent capacity expected by Wednesday
Until full supply is restored, the shortfall is being supplemented by bladders, tanks, water trucks, and bottled water.
Special needs of institutional populations and other vulnerable groups are being met using supplies donated by the Governments of Saint Lucia and Trinidad and
Solid Waste Management
The local solid waste management company started collection of garbage on Monday September 13, 2004. OXFAM reports that the present landfill does not have the
capacity to take the quantity of garbage left behind by Hurricane Ivan and they are therefore will be flying in a solid waste management expert to advise and make a
recommendation on new
The airport is functional with air traffic control, Customs and Immigration in place. Air Jamaica, Air Caribes, LIAT and Caribbean Star have restarted limited service.
Until the runway lights can be restored, air transport is limited to daylight operation. The fire tenders are functional at the airport.
An assessment of the state of the airport and recommendations for start up of operation were made by an Air Traffic Control specialist of the Rapid Needs
Assessment Team (RNAT) who was provided by Canadian International Development Agency.
At the airport there is no public ground transport, such as taxis or buses, as yet.
There are 11 medical districts in Grenada in which there are six health care centres and 33 smaller medical stations of which about half were damaged. The people in
the community are being treated at other facilities.
The general hospital and the Mount Gay Mental Hospital sustained minimal damage but both remain functional. They are supplied with standby power and water but
food supply is irregular.
The Richmond Home for the Elderly sustained major damage to the roof. The patients were relocated downstairs. One hundred single beds were pledged by the
Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines. There are 93 patients. There is adequate food and water.
Students from the St Georges University have been assisting in the care of the elderly at the Richmond Home for the Elderly.
The hospital in Grenville sustained damage to 80 per cent of its roof. However, before the hurricane struck many people were treated and discharged and only 19 of
the 40 rooms were occupied. Eight of the patients were moved to the Sauteurs Health Centre.
Princess Royal Hospital in Carriacou sustained little or no damage and is operational.
Supply of Medicine
The central medicine store for the Ministry of Health sustained major damage to the roof. An assessment is underway to determine which drugs are in good condition
and the shortfall.
The Government of Saint Lucia provided medicines such as antibiotics, diabetic drugs, hypertension drugs and oral hydration salts, while the Pan American Health
Oganisation provided vaccines.
Based on present use, the supply will run out in about a week unless more is received.
The Chief Medical Officer of Trinidad and Tobago was in Grenada Sunday and a request was made by the Ministry of Health in Grenada for the supply of 100 bottles
of oxygen. Trinidad and Tobago is expected to provide that amount. Carib Supply of Barbados will provide another dozen bottles.
Manpower in the health care sector
There is a shortage of manpower in the health sector. Nurses have been called out to work from Monday September 13, 2004. Transportation will be provided to and
Three Grenadian nurses working in the British Virgin Islands returned home while three French doctors are working at medical centres in Sauteurs and Gouyave.
This additional personnel was coordinated by the Pan American Health Organisation.
Special Medical Needs
AIDS sufferers are known to the health care providers and continue to receive anti-retroviral drugs.
A census is being conducted of all shelters which is also providing information for other special health needs. These people continue to receive medication.
For those who are not in shelters, they are covered by the District Health Officers who know what the special health needs are.
Environmental Health Officers have started visiting shelters to ensure water quality, food security and vector control. The EOC radio station and Grenada
Broadcasting Network are broadcasting information on how to purify water.
The number of people in shelters is not known. Previous estimates by the Red Cross put the number between 5,000 and 8,000. The number of shelters is now
estimated to be 98 and the health department of the Emergency Operations Centre. Visits are underway to each of the centres to record the names of the people
sheltering. Many official shelters loss their roofs and people moved into studier buildings – such as an unfinished shopping plaza – and private homes.
Emergency Operations Centre
During the hurricane the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at Mt Wheldale was destroyed and after the hurricane had passed the staff relocated to Fort Frederick.
The EOC is operational with cell phones, HF radio, computers, and a FM radio station. As of 8 pm tonight a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination
(UNDAC) team landed and quickly established e-mail facilities. There is no facsimile capability. Teams based at the EOC are multi-disciplined from several local,
regional, and international agencies which are providing advice to and assisting the Director of Emergency Services in emergency relief operations. CDERA has
provided a coordinator for regional response, a logistical manager, and
an operations manager. Other agencies working with the EOC are the Pan American Health Organisation, the International Federation of the Red Cross, CAREC,
USAID Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance, SUMA Team (Supply Management computerized system), UNIFEM, UNICEF, OXFAM, and joining today was a
team from UN OCHA.
All major roads are now cleared of fallen trees and other debris and vehicular traffic can move from one part of the island to another. The remaining hindrance is the
fallen utility poles and lines. Local utility crews assisted by CARILEC member states have started to remove fallen lines and repair the damage.
Other communication challenges include lack of communications within the country, between the EOC and the field, and between Grenada and the rest of the world.
The absence of a national broadcasting station and the absence of portable radios make communicating with the population difficult. The Grenada Broadcasting
Network has restarted broadcasting (just a few hours per day) and the EOC has established a portable radio station however both are on the FM frequency and
broadcast does not cover the entire island or the two dependencies of Carriacou and Petite Martinique. CBC 900 AM in Barbados has expanded its service to include
Grenada and has set up a toll free number (1-800-744-8222) for residents of Grenada to contact the studio. Radio Tambrin 92.1 FM in Tobago also has a reach into
Grenada. There is a pressing need for portable radios and batteries.
On Monday Sep 13, 2004 the Director of Emergency Operations, Superintendent Sylvan McIntyre, and CDERA’s Deputy Coordinator Audrey Mullings were the
guests on a call-in radio programme on CBC 900 AM out of Barbados through a link up provided by Cable and Wireless. Mr McIntyre explained the distribution plan
for food and water, the progress so far, and he addressed concerns about security. The programme was opened to calls from Grenada through a toll free number
provided by the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation which Mr McIntyre fielded.
The EOC as of 8pm has email provided by an UNDAC team which arrived tonight. There is still no fax capability because there are no land lines functional at Fort
Frederick due to the damage by Hurricane Ivan. This had severely affected the communication flow of vital reports between the EOC and CDERA but with email
available, communication is expected to significantly improve. The most effective communication is presently by satellite telephone.
1. Communication systems between the EOC and the field need to be established;
2. Portable radios for citizens to receive information from the Government;
3. The EOC requires E-mail, Internet, and fax capability;
4. The National Water and Sewerage Authority requires urgently four 6-inch flanged pressure reduction valves with a reduction range of 250 to 100 psi and six 5,000-
watt portable gas operated lighting generators for night-time plant operations and administrative operations
Regional, International Response
The information below is in addition to the information published in previous SITREPs.
1. CIDA has provided CAN$50,000 to the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) to kick start their assessment and relief efforts;
2. CIDA has provided two RNAT experts (one water and one airport expert) - both have completed their assessments (the airport expert's report has been submitted
and the water expert's report should be submitted by tomorrow, Tuesday);
3. CIDA is providing approximately CAN$75,000 to the IFRC and the Canadian Red Cross to pay for supplies, ground transport and associated costs. Items
requested include prefab warehouses, generators, water bladders and distribution systems, plastic sheeting, tools, water pumps. Final make up of consignment may
vary in the next two days depending on potential need to prioritise some of the items towards needs that may be identified in Jamaica or possibly Cuba. Air transport
is being provided free of charge by Zoom Airlines who have a charter flight scheduled to depart Toronto on Wednesday arriving in Grenada same day. The relief
items will be accompanied by a Canadian Red Cross delegate to oversee hand over of consignment to the IFRC;
4. CIDA-IHA (International Humanitarian Assistance) is providing CAN$500,000 to the IFRC for both Grenada and Jamaica;
5. CIDA Bridgetown Post, is preparing to respond with CAN$25,000 to Grenadian NGO's in support of emergency response for communities impacted by Hurricane
6. An UNDAC communications team has arrived;
7. Trinidad and Tobago which is the sub-regional focal point for Grenada has established a Joint Support Group – Grenada to support the island;
8. Trinidad and Tobago has deployed a unit from its Defence Force for one month in the first instance to carry out damage assessments, assist Grenadian law
enforcement agencies in restoring and maintaining law and order, assist in the restoration of essential services, assist with the coordination, management, collection
and distribution of relief supplies, assist with the dissemination of information throughout Grenada, repatriate citizens of Trinidad and Tobago should they require, and
enhance communication between citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and their relatives and other national interests in Grenada;
9. Trinidad and Tobago has also provided airlift and sea transport to Grenada for a number of officials of both Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada, essential services,
and the media;
10. Trinidad and Tobago has also transported 1,276 tonnes of food and water and 638 tonnes of construction material to Grenada. The twin island republic has also
deployed the specialized skills (cooks, medics, electricians, carpenters/shipwrights, masons, plumbers, welders, drivers, communications, and military engineers) as
part of the Joint Support Group;
11. Trinidad and Tobago has also repatriated all Trinidad and Tobago students from St George’s University who sought such assistance. A complete statement
detailing Trinidad and Tobago’s contributions is published in CDERA’s website at www.cdera.org.
The CDERA CU continues to issue SITREPs on Hurricane Ivan which may be viewed at www.cdera.org. The UN/OCHA Reliefweb service is also posting SITREPS
Contact Details: The CDERA CU 24hr contact number is 246 425 0386
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Tel: (246) 425-0386
Preparedness and Response Manager
Tel: (246) 425-0386
Public Education and Information Specialist
Tel: (246) 425-0386