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- Remembering Hurricane Gilbert
  • From: "CDERA Information Unit" <webmaster at cdera.org>
  • Date: 12 Sep 2005 15:47:01 -0000
Title: Today Monday September 12

Today Monday September 12, 2005 is the 17th anniversary of Hurricane Gilbert's impact on Jamaica. The following account from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Gilbert).

Hurricane Gilbert remains one of the deadliest, costliest, and most intense hurricanes on record. It wreaked havoc in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico for nearly 9 days during the 1988 Atlantic hurricane season.This photo available at http:/rsd.gsfc.nasa.gov/rsd/images/

Gilbert was born September 8, 1988 as the 12th tropical depression of the season near the Windward Islands. While feeding off the warm waters (81°F/27°C) of the Caribbean, Gilbert quickly strengthened to tropical storm status on September 9 and became the seventh named storm of the season. It strengthened even more and became a major hurricane on September 10, which is also the climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. Its west-northwesterly movement brought Gilbert to first make landfall in Jamaica. The eyewall crossed completely over Jamaica on September 12 with 150 mph (240 km/h) winds, putting it at category four on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. It was the first hurricane to make direct landfall in Jamaica since 1951.

Gilbert moved off the coast of Jamaica only to strengthen rapidly. The hurricane reached the lower edge of category five while slamming into Grand Cayman. Gilbert's extreme intensification continued until it reached its peak winds of 295 km/h (185 mph). That ranks as the third highest winds in a hurricane on record; only Camille, and Allen had higher winds measured. Gilbert also reached a minimum pressure of 888 mbar (hPa), the lowest pressure on record in the western hemisphere.

Path of Hurricane GilbertGilbert made landfall for a second time in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as a category five hurricane, making it the first category five hurricane to make landfall since Camille 19 years earlier in 1969. Major hurricane status was held as the storm made landfall for a third time near La Pesca, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Gilbert spawned 29 tornadoes in Texas on September 18 and caused flooding in the midwest. Gilbert lost its strength when it merged with a frontal boundary in Texas on September 19.

Gilbert At a glance
Duration: Sept. 8 - 19, 1988
Highest winds: 185 mph (295 km/h) (Most intense Atlantic hurricane recorded in minimum pressure) sustained
Damage: $7-9 billion (2005 dollars)
Fatalities: 318 direct
Areas affected: Windward Islands, Venezuela, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Central America, Yucatan Peninsula, northern Mexico, Texas, South Central United States

Gilbert claimed 318 lives: 202 in Mexico, 45 in Jamaica, 30 in Haiti, 12 in Guatemala, 5 in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, 3 in the United States, and 2 in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Exact monetary damage figures are not available, but the total for all areas affected by Gilbert is estimated to be near 5 billion USD (1988 dollars).

The name Gilbert was retired in the spring of 1989, and was replaced by Gordon in the 1994 season.


- 50th anniversary of Hurricane Janet this month
  • From: "CDERA Information Unit" <webmaster at cdera.org>
  • Date: 12 Sep 2005 16:45:59 -0000
Title: Today Monday September 12

Coming up this month - the 50th anniversary of Hurricane Janet which left a trail of death and destruction in Barbados, Saint Lucia, Grenada, Belize, and Mexico.

It was early on Wednesday September 21, 1955 that reports from Air France and Iberia Airlines pilots of the presence of a weak tropical disturbance at about latitude 13.5 degrees north and 53.0 degrees west that the Miami Hurricane Centre was alerted. It was from this that Janet rapidly intensified into a category one hurricane within 24 hours making landfall first in Barbados, then Grenada, Belize, and Chetumal, Mexico. Janet also caused damage in Saint Lucia.

On Thursday September 22 Janet hit the south coast of Barbados with 120 mile-per-hour winds killing 35 people and damaging 8,100 homes and leaving 20,000 people homeless. It was 57 years since Barbados last experienced a hurricane. On the same day, the winds and 15 to 20 foot high waves from Janet hit Saint Lucia damaging the jetties in Vieux Fort, Soufriere and Choisuel. Shipping of agricultural products was affected due to damage to the Vieux Fort jetty.

The following day, Friday, Janet passed between Grenada and Carriacou with 115 mile-per-hour winds leaving 122 dead in Grenada and its dependencies and US$2.8 million in damage..

On the 27th of September, 1955, Hurricane Janet, not content with battering Grenada, turned Corozal Town into rubble. Only about ten houses were left standing. Winds of up to 175 miles an hour also crushed neighboring Chetumal, Mexico. For weeks the road to Belize City was littered with trees, shrubbery, and other debris. It took the lives of 16 persons and caused almost US$4 million in damage. In Chetumal, sea water reached a height of 6.5
feet some 1,600 feet inland. The area is rather well protected from the Caribbean Sea by a sizable peninsula but there was one report of a hurricane wave south of Corozal. In Chetumal approximately 120 bodies were found in and about the ruins but the sea dragged away an unknown number. Altogether in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, the death toll is estimated at about 500 with $40 million damage.

Hurricane Janet was the most powerful hurricane of the 1955 Atlantic hurricane season. At its strongest, it was a Category 5. As it traveled west across the Caribbean Sea, it intensified, reaching a peak strength of 175 mph (280 km/h), making it one of the most intense Atlantic hurricanes on record. Janet also has the dubious record of causing the loss of the first hurricane hunter aircraft. a P2V Neptune. The aircraft flew from the airfield at Guantanamo Bay, and disappeared after signaling that it was entering the hurricane.

The name Janet was retired and will never be used for a hurricane again.

SOURCES: Hurricane of 1955 by Gordon E. DUNN, Walter R. DAVIS, AND Paul L. MOORE of the Weather Bureau Office, Miami, Fla.; and the National Emergency Management Organisation, Saint Lucia

PHOTO: http://corozal.com/history/janet/xb31a02.tq.jpg

- CDERA Roundup of News on Hurricane Emily
  • From: CDERA Information Unit <webmaster at cdera.org>
  • Date: 16 Jul 2005 15:06:45 -0000
The following news can be read at http://www.cdera.org/cunews/

Situation Reports : Jamaica 
Jamaica - 905 persons take shelter from Emily
As Jamaica braces for the impact of dangerous Category Four Hurricane Emily, 
shelters have opened across the island and so far 905 people have taken shelter.

Situation Reports : Grenada 
Emily leaves 167 families homeless in Grenada and 2,641 roofs damaged
Updated preliminary reports indicate that 2,641 roofs have been damaged by 
Hurricane Emily in Grenada, Carriacou, and Petit Martinique. The hurricane has 
left 167 families homes and of the 4,281 people in shelters 3,609 have returned 
home leaving 672 for a longer period in the public shelters.

Situation Reports : Grenada 
Utilities soon restored in Grenada where Emily has destroyed half of the 
housing stock in Mt Rich, St Patricks
Utilities are quickly being restored in Grenada, Carriacou, and Petit 
Martinique following the passage of Hurricane Emily. Latest reports are that 
half of the housing stock in Mount Rich in St Patricks has been destroyed. 
Galvanise from India should arrive in August and in the meantime some persons 
will remain in public shelters longer than anticipated. The International Ref 
Cross to provide relief supplies on Saturday morning.

Situation Reports : Belize 
Belize Declares Preliminary Phase of Hurricane Plan
On the advice of the Chief Meteorologist and the National Emergency Management 
Organization, the Prime Minister, Hon. Said Musa, has declared the preliminary 
phase of the hurricane plan of Belize to take effect as at 6:00 p.m. today 
(Friday, July 15, 2005) 

Situation Reports 
Cayman Islands opening hurricane shelters tomorrow morning
Emergency shelters in the Cayman Islands have been opened in preparation for 
dangerous Category Four Hurricane Emily which is forecast to pass close to the 
south of Grand Cayman tomorrow.

Situation Reports 
Hurricane Emily leaves 1 dead and at least 200 homes damaged in Grenada
As the assessments continue to come in Grenada has reported one death and at 
least 200 homes damaged in Carriacou which took the brunt of Hurricane Emily 
winds. Dozens of homes were damaged in St Vincent and the Grenadines where 
there was one injury. Sections of Trinidad and Tobago are still mopping up 
flood waters. Meantime, Jamaica is on Hurricane Warning preparing for Emily.

Situation Reports 
Cayman Islands: Set to declare early alert for Hurricane Emily
After its close up and personal call with Hurricane Ivan last year, the Cayman 
Islands is preparing for Hurricane Emily which is forecast to pass within close 
proximity to the south of the islands this weekend. The Government is set to 
declare and early alert tonight.

Situation Reports 
Hurricane Emily - SITREP 2: CDERA to visit Grenada for first hand assessment
Saint Lucia has reported no damage to infrastructure while St Vincent and the 
Grenadines has reported manageable damage. In Trinidad and Tobago the 
predominant report is one of flooding. About 3,000 subscribers should have 
electricity restored by Friday. Grenada which took the brunt of the hurricane 
continues its assessment. CDERA is flying to Grenada Friday for a first-hand 
assessment of the damage.

Situation Reports : Grenada 
Grenada requests Level Two disaster response after Emily
Hurricane Emily moved through the Windward Islands overnight, inflicting the 
most damage in Grenada which is recovering from the devastation of Hurricane 
Ivan 10 months ago. Grenada has requested initial Level Two disaster response. 
This means that the island can largely handle the response with its own 
resources but do require some external assistance.

Situation Reports 
Emily passes over Grenada ... slowly moving away from Windwards
After passing directly over Grenada early this morning, Hurricane Emily is 
moving away from the Windwards Islands. A hurricane warning remains in effect 
for Grenada. The hurricane warnings for St Vincent and the Grenadines has been 
downgraded to a tropical storm warning. Watches and warnings for Trinidad and 
Tobago have been discontinued.

Situation Reports : Grenada 
Grenada declares state of emergency
A state of emergency has been declared in Grenada as the island continues to 
brace for Tropical Storm Emily which is about to reach the Windward Islands. 
The Governor General, His Excellency Sir Daniel Williams declared the state of 
emergency today in the interest of public safety.

Situation Reports : Grenada 
Grenadians urged to rush preparation to completion
Grenada and three other Eastern Caribbean countries have been placed under 
Hurricane warning. The National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) advises 
persons to rush their preparations to completion. The Tropical Storm has not 
intensified over the last six hours but forecasters say it could strengthen 
tonight and become a hurricane.

Situation Reports 
Hurricane warnings issued for portion of Windward Islands as Emily approaches
At 5:00 pm hurricane warnings have been issued for Barbados, Grenada, Saint 
Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadine. A Tropical Storm Warning was issued for 
Trinidad and a Hurricane Watch for Toabgo. At this time residents in the 
warning areas should rush their preparations to completion. A warning meanings 
that hurricane or tropical storm conditions are expected within 24 hours. A 
watch means that these conditions COULD become reality within 36 hours.

Situation Reports : Grenada 
Grenada: District Emergency Committee meeting summons as Emily approaches 
A hurricane watch is in effect for Grenada and its dependencies and as part of 
preparations members of the South-East St Goerge Disaster Management Committee 
and Sub-District Committees have been summoned to a preparatory meeting.

Situation Reports 
Information Note 3 - Tropical Storm Emily - Watches issued
Hurricane watches have been issued at 11 am for Barbados, Grenada, St Vincent 
and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia. A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane 
conditions are POSSIBLE (but not certain) within the watch area within 36 
hours. Emily could become a Category One hurricane before reaching the Windward 
Islands tomorrow night.

Situation Reports 
Information Note 2 - Tropical Storm Emily
COUNTRY. Tropical Storm Emily continues traveling westward with a forward 
motion which has increased slightly in the last six hours. The National 
Hurricane Centre has also adjusted its forecast track shifting it about 30 
miles southward. At 5:00 am the centre of the tropical storm was estimated to 
be near 11.4 north and 48.6 west or about 637 miles east of Barbados.

Situation Reports 
Information Note 1 - Tropical Storm Emily
COUNTRY. The 5th storm of the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season formed when 
Tropical Depression 5 was upgraded at 11 pm tonight to Tropical Storm Emily. 
Sustained winds were estimated to be near 45 mph. The center was estimated to 
be near 11.3 north and 47.0 west of about 700 east of Barbados. The system is 
travelling toward the west at 13 mph.

- EMILY UPDATE: One death in Grenada, 200 homes damaged in Carriacou, Jamaica braces
  • From: CDERA Information Unit <webmaster at cdera.org>
  • Date: 15 Jul 2005 17:01:28 -0000
DATE & TIME: July 15, 2005 12:00 noon

At 8:00 am July 15, 2005 Eastern Caribbean Time, the center of Hurricane Emily 
was located near latitude 14.1 north, longitude 70.0 west or about 525 miles 
ESE of Kingston, Jamaica. Emily is now a Category 4 Hurricane on the Saffir 
Simpson Scale and is moving WNW near 20 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 
135 mph. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for all of  Jamaica.  The Cayman 
Islands is currently under a Hurricane WATCH.

The Prognosis: Hurricane Emily continues to pose a significant threat to the 
North Western Caribbean Islands. The island of Jamaica is expected to come 
under the influence of Hurricane Emily by late Friday night into Saturday 
morning. All preparations should be rushed to completion.


Grenada & Dependencies
The National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) has provided the following 

A meeting of the National Emergency Advisory Council (NEAC) was held yesterday 
at 4:00 p.m. which was attended by all the District Disaster Coordinators and 
key stakeholders. A detailed Damage Assessment Report was submitted for each 
district. It was reported that one casualty occurred in St. Patrick North as a 
result of Hurricane Emily. 

This island was severely impacted. Approximately 200 houses were damaged, of 
which 60 were severely damaged.  Many outhouses were destroyed.  The local Red 
Cross will assist with the provision of tarpaulins, hygiene kits and water 
containers. The Prime Minister visited Carriacou July 14, 2005 to assess 
damage. Critical facilities are currently being restored; these include water, 
electricity and main transport routes. Banks to be opened today. 
The 1,660 persons in shelters in Grenada and Carriacou have started returning 

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

St Vincent
The National Disaster Coordinator in St. Vincent and the Grenadines reported 
that Emily impacted the country between 1 am to 5 am July 14, 2005. One injury 
to a child was reported but no deaths.
544 persons sought shelter during the height of the storm. They are now 
returning to their homes.
Mainland St Vincent assessment continues. Several houses with roof and 
structural damage in the southern part of the island.
Damage to banana crop being assessed but appears minimal.
The International Airport was reopened at 9:00 am.
No damage has been reported to the telephone system. Floods/landslides and road 
blockages reported. Rock falls damaged two houses.

Union Island
Preliminary damage reports indicate that 21 houses received damages with four 
losing their entire roof structure and 17 with significant damage. The island?s 
main water storage tank was toppled during the storm.

Canouan Island
Four houses with roofs blown off and three with major damage. Airport remains 
operational though there is some roof damage.

Trinidad and Tobago

Structural damage to homes.
Thus far there have been 2 reports of roof damage to homes in Trinidad.  

Many areas in central Trinidad are currently under floodwaters.  These include 
Frederick Settlement, St. Helena, Las Lomas, Tumpuna /Guanapo and Caroni with 
as much as 3 ft in water level with anticipated increases later today with 
predicted rainfall. 

The Blanchisseuse Road, including areas from Matelot to Toco suffered 
landslides.  This is currently being addressed by the Regional Corporations and 
the Ministry of Works.  
The Damage Assessment teams from the Municipalities and the Trinidad and Tobago 
Regiment are mobilized and will be deployed into the impacted zones in Trinidad 
and Tobago. 

The areas affected in Tobago are Pembroke, Mt. St. George, Speyside, Goodwood, 
Parlatuvier, Moriah, Plymouth/Bethesda, Roxborough, Betsy's hope, Lambeau, Rose 
Hill Scarborough and Studly Park.
Two houses have been reportedly destroyed with 30 having roof damages. 21 
Shelters were open during the event.
The Hotels were not impacted and the island is open for business.
Two regiment teams from Trinidad were deployed.  Approximately 21 houses lost 
their roofs, two were demolished and flooding is occurring in areas around 
Roxborough, Bethel, and Louis Dor.  
Trinidad and Tobago has indicated that they can handle the restoration with 
their own resources.

The ODPEM has provided the following information:
Jamaica has initiated increased readiness for Hurricane Emily.  The planning 
process included the possible evacuation of approximately 10,000 residents from 
the coastline.  
Logistics planning commenced yesterday after a meeting with the Prime Minister 
and the National Disaster Committee.  This includes the pre positioning of 
heavy duty equipment and the ?drop off? of the food supplies for the victims in 
the areas cut off by Hurricane Dennis.  

The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) has provided the 
following information;
Yesterday, July 14, 2005, the operational chairperson of the National Committee 
met to discuss the state of preparedness of the different committees.
NEMO has scheduled a flight today to San Pedro, Caye Caulker and the outlying 
cayes to check the level of preparedness in those vulnerable areas.  
The Cabinet Secretary will host a meeting of the National Emergency Committee 
today. A national communications check will be conducted by NEMO today.  
Additional operations will be informed by the latest forecast.  

Galvanize sheets and tarpaulins for 200 houses in Grenada and Dependencies

Status of Regional Response Mechanism ? Activated at Level 2. Level Two means 
that affected states can largely handle the damage on its own but may require 
some external assistance.

Presently in Grenada and assisting in Carriacou with the constructing of Pit 

PAHO technical coordinator will arrive in Grenada today.


  1. The Preparedness & Response Manager of CDERA is currently in Grenada 
viewing the damage from Emily firsthand and meeting with local officials on 
response and relief requirements
  2. Information is being collated and SITREPS being prepared for dissemination

These SITREPS will be shared with CDERA and a further update will be issued to 
the public as information becomes available. 
Information is also available at the Agency?s Website- http://www.cdera.org. 
Contact Details: The CDERA CU 24hr contact number is 246 425 0386

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