The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is reporting that over the past two days at least 10 initial damage assessment field visits, coordinated by the ODPEM, have been undertaken in the parishes of St Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth and Kingston and St. Andrew. The teams consisted of representatives of donor agencies and were led by ODPEM/local team leaders.
The assessment priorities were for housing impacted, general observation of damages and preliminary identification of needs.
General observation of damage in all parishes includes:
“X Impassable roads due to fallen trees, downed poles and power lines, and storm surge debris.”X Absence of regular water supply in several areas.”X Varying degrees of damage to households.Clarendon
Just over 900 houses were assessed in Rocky Point and Portland Cottage. Of this number 889 houses sustained damages to varying degrees. Approximately 65% of these housing units sustained major damages or were destroyed. Damage was mainly as a result of storm surge and wind damage.
The major needs in this area are for water supply, reconstruction and housing solutions for displaced population.
Approximately 532 houses were assessed in the Hellshire and Old Harbour Bay area. Of this amount approximately 70%-80% sustained major damage or were destroyed.
Areas assessed include Huntley/Mt. Prospect and Alligator Pond. Damage in this area was not as extensive as the other parishes. Utilities were not available in these areas.
The areas of Bull Savannah and Cross Keys sustained the greatest impact from wind damage. More than half of the damage sustained in the areas assessed was recorded in these areas. Similarly utilities were not available.
The table summarizes damage to assessed communities. The current data indicates that St. Elizabeth has the largest percentage of damage followed by Clarendon.
The following are some of the actions undertaken by the ODPEM so far:”X The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) continues to be activated.”X Resource and Needs lists are constantly being compiled.”X Periodic parish updates are done to monitor shelters across the island and their status.”X Three water tanks along with collapsible containers dispatched to Portland Cottage.”X Monitoring of shelters and feeding of shelterees.”X Welfare assessment teams have been deployed.”X Relief distribution carried out to Old Harbour and Clarendon.”X Continued collation of Damage Assessment data.”X Parish Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) have been deactivated in the Southern Region
Actions to be Taken
The ODPEM has identified the following to be done:
“X Continuation of damage assessment activities.”X Food drops to the cut-off communities of Somerset, Mansfield, Tower Hill, Lime Tree and Spring Bank.”X Continued attempts to re-establish communication links with affected parishes.”X Servicing of shelters with water by the National Water Commission (NWC).”X Arrangement of relief distribution for affected communities in St. Thomas.”X Relief distribution for open shelters.”X Establishing of satellite water distribution stations.
The ODPEM will continue to keep the country informed as the post-Hurricane Dean reconstruction and relief efforts continue.