NASSAU –– Hurricane Joaquin has been blamed for the death of a fisherman in Haiti and for one man going missing in Ragged Island in the Bahamas.
The focus had been on Bahamas which was battered by the Category 4 hurricane late last week, but Haiti also experienced severe weather conditions. Between Petit-Trou de Nippes and Grand Boucan, a boat capsized in the rough seas, with two fishermen on board.
One of them, a man in his 30s, drowned, according to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).
While Haiti is not being affected by the major portion of the system, outlying bands continue to influence the weather over much of the country. There have been reports of significant flooding, landslides, fallen trees, and damage to agricultural crops.
In the Bahamas, there were no reports of death, even amidst the flooding and strong winds that affected the archipelago.
But there has been significant damage in some of the islands, and CDEMA said it had made arrangements for three Rapid Damage And Needs Assessment Teams to be deployed to the Bahamas, targeting Acklins Island, Crooked Island and Long Island which bore the brunt of the hurricane.
Each team will be led by CDEMA and supported by representatives from Barbados, Jamaica, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
In its latest situation report, CDEMA gave an update on the damage in the Bahamas.
Power and communications exist in remaining family islands which have not reported any significant damages or service interruptions.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has provided the following initial report based on the collaborative efforts between the National Disaster Committees (NDC) and Family Islands Disaster Consultative Committees and The Bahamas Information Services.
Rum Cay: There have been reports of significant structural damage to homes and buildings. The dock is completely destroyed; however, the airstrip is accessible.
Acklins Island: The runway at Acklins is now clear of debris; however commercial flights have not received the all clear to land or take off. An estimated 20 homes are totally destroyed and residents have been evacuated. The clinic has sustained severe flood damage. The Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) confirmed technicians were attempting to restore the lines in Delectable Bay. Electrical poles were down in Lovely Bay. The main bridge was completely destroyed.
Crooked Island and Long Cay: Reports reveal that 70 per cent of Crooked Island is flooded with approximately five feet of water in some areas and there is an islandwide power outage. A significant amount of buildings and homes are damaged.
Long Island: The Clarence Town dock is an accessible point of entry as the airport is inaccessible due to flooding. Attempts are being made to clear roads from Deadman’s Cay to Sella Maris and to provide relief via seaplanes to these areas.
San Salvador: The airport at San Salvador has been completely destroyed but the runway is now clear and can be accessed. There has been significant damage to homes and San Salvador. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force reported that there were 84 persons at the Odell Centre, Cockburn Town, and 104 persons at the research centre in United Estates.
Mayaguana: Communication link exists but efforts continue to establish full capability. There has been minor damage to home structures including loss of roofing shingles.
Exuma: Power lines down and extreme flooding.
Harbour Island and North Eleuthera: Docks and airports are accessible in these areas; however, there are power outages in Harbour Island due to fallen power lines.
Ragged Island: One male has been reported missing.
Hurricane Joaquin is the tenth named storm of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season.