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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07KINGSTON1286
2007-08-23 18:12:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Kingston
Cable title:  

USAID SITUATION REPORT 2 HURRICANE DEAN

Tags:   AEMR  ASEC  CASC  KFLO  MARR  PREL  PHUM 
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VZCZCXYZ0009
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKG #1286/01 2351812
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 231812Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY KINGSTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5231
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE PRIORITY 1925
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK PRIORITY 0490
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0273
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0105
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL//J9// PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM J5 MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM J4 MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
						UNCLAS KINGSTON 001286 

SIPDIS

AIDAC

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT PASS TO CARICOM COLLECTIVE

DEPARTMENT ALSO PASS TO USAID/W
USAID/W FOR A/AID HFORE
LAC/AA FOR PBONICELLI
DCHA/AA FOR MHESS, GGOTTLIEB
DCHA/OFDA FOR KLUU, AFERRARA, ACONVERY, RTHAYER, SBISWAS
STATE FOR WHA, CA, DS/IP/WHA, A, M/DGHR, PM, SMS, SES/O,
TASKFORCE DEAN, CMS
WHA/CAR FOR BMAJEWSKI, KHARNE, RBUDDEN
DS/IP/SPC FOR JSPOO
USSOUTHCOM FOR BVANICO
SAN JOSE FOR TCALLAGHAN
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH, RMA
USUN FOR TMALEY
NSC FOR PMARCHAM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AEMR ASEC CASC KFLO MARR PREL PHUM
EAID, PINR, AMGT, MX, CU, XL, XK, JM
SUBJECT: USAID SITUATION REPORT 2 HURRICANE DEAN

REFS: A) KINGSTON 1272 B) KINGSTON 1274

-------
SUMMARY
-------



1. Based on field assessments in five communities
carried out on August 21, Hurricane Dean has killed at
least three people, damaged thousands of houses, and
left at least 3,500 people in need of food, water, and
relief supplies in Jamaica. The USAID team believes
that the number of affected will continue to rise as
results from other field assessments become available.
On August 21, USAID disaster response specialists joined
field assessments led by the Government of Jamaica (GOJ)
Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
(ODPEM) to five severely affected communities. The team
reported severe damage in the area of Old Harbour Bay in
Saint Catherine Parish, where hurricane force winds
demolished an estimated 80 percent of the houses and
left thousands in need of relief assistance.
Assessments will continue as long as needed. In
response, USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster
Assistance (OFDA) is providing a total of USD 250,000 to
provide emergency health services and procure and
transport plastic sheeting, blankets, hygiene kits, and
water containers. The USAID assessment team in Kingston
is planning to receive the airlift of relief commodities
on August 22. End Summary.



--------------------------


Field Assessments


--------------------------





2. Overall, disaster experts on Jamaica concur that
Hurricane Dean did not damage infrastructure as severely
as initially anticipated. ODPEM noted that while
Hurricane Dean resembled Hurricane Ivan, which resulted
in extensive damage to the island, Hurricane Dean hit
Jamaica at a higher speed and did not linger over the
island as long as Ivan did, resulting in less heavy
rainfall, landslides, and storm surge activity. In
addition, Jamaica disaster experts have observed that
the improvements to Jamaica's infrastructure following
the damage of Ivan held up well under Dean's hurricane
force winds. However, several communities located
closest to the hurricane's eyewall received strong winds
that demolished buildings, in some cases leveling the
entire structure. According to some assessments, wind-
related damage in these areas exceeded that of Hurricane
Ivan.



3. On August 21, members of the USAID assessment team
joined the ODPEM-led field assessments to affected areas
to ground truth observations made in the aerial
assessments conducted on August 20. Representatives
from ODPEM, USAID, the Pan American Health Organization
(PAHO), UN agencies, and the Jamaican Red Cross
participated in the assessments. In eleven vehicles,
including one of USAID's, the teams traveled to Old
Harbour Bay, Rocky Point, Portland Cottage, Caribbean
Terrace, and Bull Bay.

--OLD HARBOUR BAY: The assessment team that visited Old
Harbour Bay, located on the coast in Saint Catherine
Parish, reported that between 2,500 and 3,500 people
have had their homes destroyed and are in need of food,
water, and relief items. The total population in the
area is estimated at 7,000 people. In the eastern parts
of the community, nearly 80 percent of the houses were
completely destroyed. An estimated 10 to 20 percent of
fisherfolk have lost their fishing boats. Most of the
community members weathered the storm in shelters, but
have begun returning to their homes to cleanup and
rebuild shelters. The community members are burning
dead animals to prevent the spread of disease and using
sea water to cleanup. The team reported that there is
up to 48 inches of standing water in some areas,
creating the potential to transmit waterborne diseases
and breed mosquitoes. During the storm, ocean waters
surged an estimated 300 meters inland, flooding houses
and damaging infrastructure. Many of the houses were
flooded up to 3 or 4 feet with water during the storm.
The community development association in the area has
designated a church as the focal point for relief
assistance distribution.



4. Reports from the other areas are expected to be
received in the next 24 hours. The field assessments
will continue on August 22 and the data collected will
be analyzed in the coming days. Using the data gathered
in the assessments, ODPEM may request additional
assistance from the international community. Donors are
awaiting the results from this two-day field assessment
to determine further response to the disaster.



--------------------------


OFDA Response


--------------------------





5. OFDA is airlifting plastic sheeting, water
containers, hygiene kits, and blankets. In addition to
the USD 100,000 already provided, OFDA plans to provide
an additional USD 100,000 to PAHO for emergency health
services in hurricane-affected areas in Jamaica. OFDA
also plans to provide an additional USD 50,000 to
USAID/Jamaica to support NGOs and other relief needs
identified in upcoming damage assessments. In total,
OFDA is providing USD 250,000 in response to Hurricane
Dean to support emergency assistance in Jamaica.

JOHNSON