The Caribbean is experiencing the worst Hurricane season in years. Hurricanes Irma and Maria have left a path of devastation across the Caribbean islands, starting on Antigua and Barbuda, passing through Anguilla, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Sint Marteen, Turks and Caicos and the US Virgin Islands. Irma, a category-5 hurricane which averaged max. sustained winds of 185 mph/295 kmh, caused 35 deaths, estimated economic losses of US$ 10 billion across all the affected islands, and long-lasting damage to infrastructure, houses and basic supplies, including electricity and water.
ESB’s Field Coordination Support Section (FCSS) has been working closely with partners in the region, and deployed several UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) teams to the region that are still working in the affected areas. ESB has coordinated the response at every stage with Member States, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and OCHA’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC).