HURRICANE SEASON 2017
The 2017 hurricane season is causing unprecedented levels of destruction across the Caribbean. It has already devastated the lives of millions of people, and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless and displaced.
Irma, a category 5 hurricane, the most powerful ever recorded over the Atlantic. It wrought havoc on many of the Caribbean islands, with maximum sustained winds of 296 km/h and deadly waves.
Irma was swiftly followed by Hurricane Jose, which affected Antigua and Barbuda. And just days later, Hurricane Maria, a category 3 hurricane, threatened areas affected by Irma and Jose. Maria is gaining force and has already had a devastating effect on Dominica and Puerto Rico.
OCHA continues to work with humanitarian partners and local governments throughout the region to ensure the most urgent needs are met.
Tropical Storm Nate formed in the southwestern Caribbean on the morning of 5 October, travelling north along the coastline of Central America as it made its way to the US Gulf Coast. It turned into a hurricane on 6 October (with a wind speed of 120 km/hour) and made landfall in the US Gulf Coast on 7 October.
Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama have reported incidents of flooding and high winds leading to more than 30 deaths and leaving at least 600,000 people affected in the region. The national civil protection systems in the respective countries have responded with local capacities.
As of 9 October, Nate has become post-tropical but continues to bring heavy rain and gusty winds in parts of the US.
On 18 September, Hurricane Maria evolved from a category 1 storm to a category 5 storm in less than 18 hours, just before it slammed the Caribbean island of Dominica (Source: NASA). It thrashed the country with extreme winds and rainand destroyed all in its path. At the time of landfall, sustained winds, which were reported to be 260 km/h, affected the entire population. Most of the Caribbean islands in its path braced for the brutal onslaught.
Dominica, one of the poorest countries in the Caribbean, faced the full force of Hurricane Maria, which claimed the lives of 15 people, and tore through the entire island, ripping rooftops, power lines and water pipelines, and directly or indirectly affecting the country’s entire population (about 73,000 people). CDEMA is now leading response efforts on the ground, with support from Governments, UN agencies and humanitarian partners. Humanitarian organizations are delivering critical aid and carrying out assessments throughout the island.
Access to Dominica is gradually being restored, but internal access along key roads is limited and hindering the delivery of crucial aid to cut-off communities. In consultation with the Government of Dominica, the humanitarian community launched on 29 September a Flash Appeal for Dominica. The Appeal seeks $31.1 million to reach 65,000 people within the next three months - September to December 2017.