Storm Erika weakens in its passage by the Caribbean

تم النشر: 29 أغسطس 2015 21:44 CET


Tropical Storm Erika is moving away from La Española island and is expected in the coming hours to touch the southern part of Cuba, according to images of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami.

The National Meteorological Office (Onamet) maintains an Alert by tropical storm conditions associated with the passage of Erika in all the coasts of the Dominican Republic, from Cabo Engano (La Altagracia) to Pedernales and from Cabo Engano to the  Manzanillo Bay (Monte Cristi).

Damage report provided by the Emergency Operations Center (EOC):

As for Cuba is expected that the storm arrives this weekend as a weakened tropical depression with winds of 65 kilometres per hour. According to the NHC, the storm has weakened to reduce the speed of winds to 65 mph, after passing through Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Tropical storm warnings remains for the northwest of Bahamas, Cuban province of Ciego de Avila, Camaguey, Las Tunas, Holguin and Guantanamo. The NHC forecast said that Erika could take a turn to the northwest and slow down on Sunday, after crossing Cuba tonight. Erika is expected to weaken today to become a depression as it moves over land, and could even degenerate into a low pressure channel. These rains could cause flash floods and mudslides that can endanger the lives of people. 

The Staff of the Civil Defense ordered the phase of "hurricane warning" to Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Granma and Holguin, and also established the "information" phase to other areas of eastern Las Tunas, Camaguey and Ciego de Avila, according to a note released by official media. Also indicated that these measures were taken because of the west-northwest path followed by Erika in anticipation that provokes strong and locally heavy rains from Guantanamo to Ciego de Avila, and winds from 65 to 100 kilometres per hour that accompany this storm. The Civil Defense said that the provinces threatened by this tropical storm should evaluate the possible effects that may result from heavy rains and landslides; mainly in the cities and mountainous zones.

Regarding Haiti, orange alert remains this Saturday and the activation of the National Plan for Risk Management and Disaster (PNGRD) was announced. They should address threats of heavy rain and strong winds with risks of landslides, mudslides and floods across the country.

A total of 1,966 evacuation shelters were opened in towns with total accommodation capacity of 340.407 people. In prevention against flood risk, 254 prisoners were evacuated from the central prison in Gonaïves prisons in Croix-des-Bouquets, St. Marc and Arcahaie.

More than 250 teams of volunteer brigade and other emergency teams were deployed in support of municipal and local authorities to adapt to the different necessary interventions.

The Government of Haiti has collected in the accounts of the "emergency fund" the sum of 1 million gourdes to attend the country's 10 departments.

The UN and NGO partners have activated their coordination mechanisms for emergency response and work in close coordination with the SNGRD. Partners (OCHA, UNDP, World Bank, IOM, the OFDA, Internews etc.) are mobilized to support SNGRD centrally or in some departments in areas such as logistics, pre -Positioning and updating of emergency reserves.

Red Cross actions

Dominican Red Cross continues monitoring the event at National level. No substantial damage or reports of casualties have been reported.

In the branch:

- San Pedro de Macorís:

- Evacuation or 5 families in Sector Pedro Justo Carrión.

- Continuing assessments of vulnerable areas.

- Coordination with the local committee P.M.R.

- Evaluation of the shelters.

- Activation and monitoring of community networks.


 - Evaluation of vulnerable areas by the rains.

- Continuing assessments of vulnerable areas.

- Coordination with the local committee P.M.R..


- 180 people were evacuated to family or relatives homes, 23 in official shelters.

For its part, the Disaster and Crisis Unit of the Haitian Red Cross continues to monitor the passage of Tropical Storm Erika. It maintains a permanent presence in the National COE to support the response to the passage of the storm.