People in the Dominican Republic and Haiti are facing 'the day after' Hurricane Irma which caused widespread damage overnight. Oxfam teams will immediately asses the needs of the most vulnerable people in the heaviest-hit areas, mainly in the north of both countries.
Staff in Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba have activated their contingency plans, and are coordinating with partner organisations and government agencies.
In Haiti,Oxfam teams reported heavy rain and flooding in Ouanaminthe district and in Fort Liberte city at the Dominican Republic border, and a broken bridge at the Massacre River linking the two countries. Thousands of houses have been damaged in the Dominican Republic and people displaced.
Also in Haiti, we have moved emergency aid into five locations across the country, three of which are in northern areas that will be the most exposed to the hurricane's impact. Already four teams, made up of five or more specialists in emergencies, have been mobilised in Cap-Haitien, Ouanaminthe, Anse-Rouge and Gonaives. We are seeing a lot of trash and waste out in the flooded streets in Cap Haïtien which is exactly the type of condition that heightens the risk of cholera and other diseases. Oxfam teams in the northern part of the country, have the necessary stock for cholera
The Oxfam team in Cap-Haïtien is already preparing to mount emergency repairs to water and sanitation facilities, working with the Ministry of Public Works.
Irma is moving north and will severely impact Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas. Oxfam is continuing to monitor the progress of Hurricane Jose following behind, which threatens more damage including to islands already wrecked by Irma. A third hurricane - Katia - is forming to threaten Veracruz in Mexico. Oxfam is prepared to assess and respond with essential supplies.
Oxfam has worked in the Caribbean region for over 30 years and has expert teams in providing safe water, sanitation and hygiene to people most vulnerable after an emergency strikes. Oxfam responded to last year's Hurricane Matthew in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba.