Updated on 2 February 2018
Hurricane Irma first made landfall on the northeast Caribbean islands during the early hours local time of 6 September 2017. Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, St Barthélemy, St. Martin, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos, and the US Virgin Islands were all affected?.
169,000 people and 75,000 buildings were exposed to wind speeds higher than 252km/h. 5.5 million people lived in areas exposed to winds in excess of 120km/h. At least 37 people have been reported dead?.
Some islands have had close to 100% of their population displaced. There is significant damage to infrastructure, livelihoods, housing, communications, and essential services, including electricity?.
A few days after Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria moved west-northwest over the Caribbean Sea, and picking up strength as it moved onwards. It then continued moving towards Puerto Rico as a category 5 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 270 km/h.
The most affected
Dominica is considered to be one of the worst affected islands by Hurricane Maria. The hurricane force resulted in intense storm surges, torrential downpour, overflowing raging rivers, and extremely high winds across the island left 31 people dead, 37 missing. 65,000 people, around 80% of the population, were directly affected and more than 90% of roofs were damaged or destroyed while power and water supplies were disrupted, and entire crops destroyed. Overall, damages and losses are estimated at around USD 1.3 billion, equating to 224% of Dominica’s 2016 GDP.
As part of the H2H Network, ACAPS has provided analysis support, remotely and in-country, to humanitarian actors and government agencies in Dominica. Through secondary data review, interviews and discussions with key stakeholders and affected population, ACAPS has been able to support the response in Dominica with a number of analytical products, allowing actors to make better decision setting priorities and are grateful to DFID for their funding which has made this possible.
The H2H network is a group of not-for-profit organisations that provide products and services to other humanitarian organisations, to improve the effectiveness of emergency response and facilitate two-way communication with affected populations.