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RISK MANAGEMENT, VULNERABILITY AND NATURAL DISASTERS IN THE CARIBBEAN REPORT PREPARED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS RAFI AHMAD Department of Geography and Geology Unit for Disaster Studies Mona GeoInformatics Institute University of the West Indies Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica April-May 2007 rafi.ahmad@uwimona.edu.jm rahmad@monainformatixltd.com

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TABLE OF CONTENTS I.

INTRODUCTION: ..................................................................................................... 3

II.

VULNERABILITY, RISK AND DISASTERS ..................................................... 133

III. A NATURAL HAZARD-PRONE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: JAMAICA AND THE CAPITAL CITY, KINGSTON ....................................................................................... 221 IV. RESPONSE TO HAZARDS AND DISASTERS:RECENT TRENDS ................. 266 REFERENCES.................................................................................................................. 35 APPENDICES……………………………………………………………………………38

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I. INTRODUCTION: Background: This report is an analytical review of the practice of risk management, vulnerability and natural disasters in the Caribbean. Natural hazard processes typical to the Caribbean have been reviewed in the light of new data including tsunami hazard, sediment floods, and climate change hazards. An analysis of recent natural disasters in the Caribbean region facilitates identification of emerging trends and suggests way forward in natural hazard risk management. Natural hazard processes are an essential part of how Earth functions. These processes have been shaping the planet Earth for millions of years. Like the Circum-Pacific region, the Circum-Caribbean region is one of the most natural hazard-prone regions in the world (Figure 1.1). This is because of a combination of multiple geophysical and geological processes and inherent physical conditions that characterize the Caribbean region. Included among these are shallow, intermediate and deep focus earthquakes, volcanism, geological history and rock types, active tectonics and geological faults, mountainous terrain, volcanic soils, and long duration and high intensity rainfall associated with hurricanes and other tropical storms.

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Natural hazards may be regarded as one of the most manageable of all environmental problems. This is because scientific and technological advances have made it possible to identify natural hazard risks in real time and reduce their impact. Appropriate mitigation measures are readily available and it has been demonstrated that benefits of vulnerability reduction greatly outweigh the disaster costs. Improved warning and evacuation systems have cut the death toll of hurricanes and hydro-geologic hazard events dramatically. Structural and non-structural mitigation measures have been shown to alleviate the effects of earthquakes, landslides, floods, and droughts (OAS Primer, 1991). Recommendations from the 1994 Yokohama Strategy and World Conference on Disaster Reduction in 2005 have reinforced the above. The universal message is that disaster response alone is not sufficient to achieve disaster management as it yields only temporary results at a very high cost. Prevention and mitigation activities undertaken before a disaster strikes contribute to lasting improvement in human safety, economic well being, healthy environment and social justice deemed essential to integrated disaster risk management. The challenge for the scientific and technical community is to provide practical strategies for preventive maintenance. Vulnerability reduction action, however, is slow in most of the countries of the Caribbean region. A large chunk of international funding for natural hazard management is spent on disaster preparedness, relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction, leaving less than 10 percent for prevention before a disaster (OAS Primer, 1991). The Caribbean region is exposed to a number of extreme natural phenomena of geological, atmospheric, hydro-geologic, seismic and volcanic origin (Table I.1). Hazards related to climate change, rise in Earth’s temperature and sea level rise, are the threats that have emerged in the last decade. However, hazards which affect the Caribbean most frequently are hydro-geologic hazards including landslides, sediment floods and water floods (Ahmad and Baban, 2004; Ahmad et al., 2004; ECLAC, 2005, Figure 1.2 ). Hydrometeorological hazards Hydrometeorological hazards include a number of distinct processes including debris flows, mud flows and debris floods, collectively designated as sediment-water flows (Ahmad, 2007 in press). However, sediment flow processes are recorded and treated as water floods in the Caribbean and consequently most mitigation is designed to contain water floods. This is unfortunate because mitigation strategies for sediment flows are significantly different than those for water floods. R.Ahmad

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Table I.1 Potentially hazardous natural phenomena and processes in the Caribbean. Note: Large-scale wildfires are not reported in the small island states. ATMOSPHERIC SEISMIC

GEOLOGIC/ HYDROLOGIC VOLCANIC HYDROLOGIC

Hurricanes Tropical storms Tornadoes Rainfall Lightning Hailstorms

Fault ruptures Ground shaking Liquefaction Uplift Landslides

Landslides

Submarine slides

Desertification Salinization Drought

Tsunamis

Subsidence

Coastal flooding (Storm surge, Tsunami) Sea-level rise

Erosion and sedimentation

Bolides Temperature changes

River flooding

Seiches

Lava flows Mudflows Pyroclastic flows Projectiles and lateral blasts Tephra (ash, cinders, lapilli) Gases

Figure 1.2 Hydrometeorological disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean, 19902004

(ECLAC, 2005 http://www.eclac.cl/publicaciones/xml/0/21540/lcg2331.pdf Based on data from: Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), Emergency Disasters Data Base (EM-DAT) www.em-dat.net (* the figures refer to the number of disasters experienced by countries rather than the number of events. A single event (such as a hurricane) may generate several disasters if it affects more than one country.)

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In 2004 and 2005, several Caribbean islands including Haiti, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago were affected by sediment-water flows which were simply recorded and treated as common water floods (Ahmad and Baban, 2004; Ahmad, 2005 a). This subject has not received due attention of either the local hazard professional community or disaster management officials in the Caribbean. Sediment floods are amenable to avoidance and correction and economic losses may be significantly reduced. It is important to distinguish different flow types to adopt appropriate mitigation. Costa and Jarrett (1981) have shown that protective measures for water floods may not be effective for debris flows and indirect-discharge estimates in sediment flow channels may not be accurate. Also, hydrological processes and channel dynamics in relatively small and steep mountain watersheds of the Caribbean are not comparable to those operating in the large river basins. Since flooding processes are markedly different in the two environments, the response and management for two scenarios is also different. Costa and Jarrett (1981), Costa (1984), and Hungr et al. (2001) have described physical geomorphology, material properties, rheology, differentiation of water floods and debris flows, and classification of sediment-water flow types (Table 1.2). Table I.2. Sediment – water flow types in channels, modified from Costa, 1984. FLOW TYPE:

WATER FLOOD Stream flow

Sediment load by weight Bulk Density g/cm3 Strength dynes/m2 Fluid Type

1-40% 1.0-1.3 <100

Deposits and Landform

Sorted, stratified sheets and bars

Newtonian

MUD/DEBRIS FLOOD Hypoconcentrated flow 40-70% 1.3-1.8 100-200

DEBRIS FLOW

Approximately Newtonian Poorly sorted; weakly stratified, no sharply defined margins

Visco-plastic

70-90% 10-20 >200

Levees and lobes of very poorly sorted, largely unstratified debris, large clasts on top and at face of lobe

Debris flows may be regarded as gravity-induced mass movement comprising poorly sorted rock debris, 70-90% by weight, and a process intermediate between landslides and water floods. Its flow properties depend on the sediment size varying between clay to boulders,

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sorting and water content. Debris flows are highly viscous and are therefore able to transport large rock blocks (> 1m) on their surface. Their erosive power is several orders of magnitude greater than water floods and hypoconcentrated flows. Following Hungr et al. (2001) â&#x20AC;&#x153;debris flood is a very rapid, surging flow of water, heavily charged with debris, in a steep channelâ&#x20AC;?. Many debris flows become diluted with water downstream to become debris floods. It is regarded as a mass transport phenomenon distinct from landslides and simulating what have been described as hypoconcentrated flows or sediment slurries which can easily move on gentle slopes (Costa, 1984; Hungr et al., 2001). Sources of sediments include storm-induced landslides, loose sediments on slopes derived from old slope failures and sediments in the water courses related to previous sediment-water floods. The mobilization potential of these sediments is high and, in many cases, it is the deposition of sediments rather than water that leads to disasters in river basins. Post-disaster damage assessment surveys carried out by the author in the parish of Portland in Jamaica in the wake of rainfall associated with tropical storms Michelle in 2001 and Lilli and Isidore in 2002 revealed many such cases. For example, in the Bybrook area of Portland parish and Bull Bay in St. Andrew it was noted that many of the culverts and bridges failed to function as debris flow chutes as they were small and designed to accommodate water floods. Tsunami hazard: Following the catastrophic Boxing Day 2004, Indian Ocean Tsunami, the scientific community has documented evidence in support of giant wave events throughout the Caribbean including the ABC1 islands, the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, southern and central Antillean island arc (for example, Lander et al., 2002; Ahmad et al., 2005; Grindlay et al., 2005; Scheffers et al., 2005; Robinson et al., 2006). These studies have highlighted the potential for devastating tsunamis in the Caribbean. Previously known Caribbean tsunami events include Jamaica (1692, 1780); Hispaniola and Virgin Islands (1842), and Dominican Republic (1946). According to Grindlay et al. (2005), â&#x20AC;&#x153;with increased populations, especially in the coastal area, some 35.5 million people are now at risk should another strong tsunami hit the northern Caribbean (Fig. I.3). An Intra Americas Sea Tsunami Warning Project has been approved by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and US Geological Survey.

1

Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao

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Figure I.3 North America- Caribbean plate boundary zone is marked by along-strike transition in structural styles from west to east comprising zones of transtension (NW corner), strike-slip, transpression, and oblique collision between the Caribbean plate and the Bahamas carbonate platform. (Figure 1 from Grindlay et al., 2005) Black arrows: Caribbean-North America plate velocity (18-20 Âą3 in mm/yr) predictions of DeMets et al. [2000] based on GPS velocities. Black circles (â&#x2014;&#x2039;1692) are locations of six historical tsunamis in the northern Caribbean with documented loss of human life: 1780 and 1692 (Jamaican area), 1842, 1946, 1918, 1867.

Climate change hazards: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has published The Physical Science Basis of projections and likely scenarios on climate change on 2 February 20071. How would climate change possibly manifest itself on active natural processes affecting the small island states of the Caribbean is not definite? The sizes of the individual islands are not large enough to have significant shifts in the intra-island rainfall distribution patterns. Large-scale rate changes would be expected in view of anomalous sea surface temperatures and changes in wind shear patterns. However, there are a couple of likely scenarios that may be speculated. First, any significant (whatever that is) sea level rise will affect the littoral drift along the coast with some changes to the location and seasonal change to beaches due to increased or decreased sediment nourishment. There also would be a change in the coastal areas subject to storm surge during hurricanes or other major tropical storms; probably a greater run-up is likely. There may also be an increase in the sea cliff retreat where wave action becomes more effective due to sea level rise or higher energy associated with hurricanes and tropical storms.

1

http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/wg1-report.html

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Rising sea level would affect the base level of major streams, in that incision of river valleys might slow and some slope processes might change as a result. This is likely to be a complex interaction especially if the number and/or power of hurricanes and tropical storms increase. The greater delivery of sediment to the valleys from rainfall-induced landslides may result in greater aggradation in these valleys where down cutting is less. Flooding events and areas affected by flooding in the future may very well change due to the base level changes, greater rainfall and increased sediment deposition ( Personal communication: Jerome De Graff, February 2007). Tectonic Framework of Caribbean region The Caribbean Plate extends from the Lesser Antilles in the East to the Greater Antilles in the North including Puerto Rio, Hispaniola, and Jamaica, to the West along the Pacific margin of Central America, and to the South along the northern margin of South America (Fig. I.4). If we consider the Caribbean Plate (CARP) as stationary, the North American Plate (NOAP) and the South American Plate (SOAP) move slowly to the west at about 20 mm/yr (Grindley et al., 2005). NOAP and SOAP plates subduct beneath the eastern margin of the CARP descending into the upper mantle and forming a chain of active volcanoes comprising the Lesser Antilles.

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Multiple hazard profile of the Caribbean using the World map of Natural Hazard prepared by Munich Re: A. Climate change: (Figure I.5) El Ni単o year: Increase in tropical storms in the Pacific Basin Decrease in tropical storm activity in the Atlantic Basin La Ni単a year: Increase in tropical storms in the Atlantic Basin Decrease in tropical storm activity in the Pacific Basin Temperature Change: 1-30C in the Atlantic

B. Caribbean basin rainfall: (Figure I.6) Rainy months: VI (June)-XII (December) Maximum 24 hr rainfall in mm: Eastern part: 200-300; Western part: 300-400 C. Summary Caribbean multiple hazards: (Figure I.7 and 1.8) Earthquakes: Zone 3 to 4: MMI VIII- IX and above

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Probable maximum intensity (Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale) with an exceedance probability of 10% in 50 years (equivalent to a “return period” of 475 years) for medium subsoil conditions. Kingston: Large city with “Mexico City effect” Volcanoes: Particularly hazardous volcanoes Showing last eruption before 1800 AD and last eruption after 1800 AD Tsunami and storm surges: All islands are exposed to tsunami and storm surge hazard Tropical storms tracks: Probable maximum intensity (SS: Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale) with an exceedance probability of 10% in 10 years (equivalent to a “return period” of 100 years) Zone 3: SS 3 (178-209 km/hr) Windward islands Zone 4: SS 4 (210-249 km/hr) Leeward islands

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II. VULNERABILITY, RISK AND DISASTERS Natural disaster management in the Caribbean appears simple in a generic form but is complex in detail. As far as physical environment and vulnerability to natural hazards is concerned there are marked differences as well as similarities across the region.. For example, on an inter-island scale the Windward Islands lie in Zone 3 for hurricane hazard (Fig. 1.7). Similarly, on a regional scale the Northern Caribbean Plate Boundary is regarded as a strikeslip fault zone. However, in detail this boundary comprises segments whose tectonic characters and movements are markedly different (Fig. 1.3). This has implications for the likelihood of tsunami generating earthquakes (Grindley et al., 2005). On the island of Jamaica, the Blue Mountains attain a maximum height of over 2000.00m. The vegetation pattern shows marked changes with increasing height. Bedrock in some two-thirds of the surface area on Jamaica is predominantly limestone. This influences both flooding patterns and also slope instability. Landslide susceptibility in southern Trinidad is different from that in the Northern Ranges. Therefore from a practical point of view every island and intra-island sub-regions are, in many ways, representative of unique systems determined by the scales of observation. This aspect of variability in physical environment is discussed below and should not be overlooked when considering vulnerability to disasters. The island states are isolated and scattered over an area of some 1.2 million km2 bordering the Caribbean Sea (Appendix I). Their geological features and landforms are highly varied. Lowlying carbonate platforms make up some islands whereas others may be regarded as exposed upper parts of submerged volcanic mountains (Appendix II). It is well known that many of the volcanic edifices have collapsed during the Quaternary period1. This may have caused large waves in pre-historic time that would affect many a coastline.

Lying within the northern

tropics, the Caribbean basin is an area of hurricanes and tropical storms (APPENDIX III) which deliver heavy and sustained rainfall that maintains river flows and is the primary source of fresh water supplies. The mountainous terrain is rugged and highly dissected with peaks reaching heights of over 3000 m (the Blue Mountains of Jamaica â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2,254m) and where forested, covered with dense and evergreen rain forest cover. There are active volcanoes on the islands of Montserrat, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and off the coast of Grenada. The coastal environments are characterized by diverse habitats including coral sand beaches, coral reefs, sea-grass beds, mangroves, wetlands, rugged coastlines, and protected harbours. Coastal 1

Quaternary period: about 2 million years before the present

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flooding is a major threat to all the countries (APPENDIX IV). However, its severity is highly variable and dictated by bathymetry (APPENDIX II). Land space and population densities are major factors in determining vulnerability to disasters. In terms of land area, the volcanic island of Montserrat with an area of 103 km2 is the smallest, whereas the low lying state of Guyana on the South American seaboard has the largest area at 214,970 km2. Guyana, Suriname, Haiti and Belize account for 92.79 per cent of the total geographic area of the region (CARICOM Environment, 2003). Major urban centres are coastal locations with a long history of natural disasters. They have high population densities, costly public administration, and an infrastructure that is very costly to maintain. It includes transportation and communication, water supplies, electricity, health and educational services (CARICOM Environment, 2003). Most of the CARICOM countries (BOX 1) have recorded an increase in their population during 1990-2000. The total population of 15 CARICOM countries was estimated at 14.3 million people in 2000 which is less than 1 % of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population. BOX 1 CARICOM The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is a regional political and economic grouping of the Circum-Caribbean Sea island states of the Greater and Lesser Antilles including the Gulf Coast state of Belize and Guyana in the South American mainland. Member States of the CARICOM are Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago with Anguilla, The British Virgin Islands and Turks & Caicos Islands as Associate Members.

The hazard exposure, however, is relatively high due to inherent geological and geophysical factors and is also influenced by poverty and population. Natural disasters have induced population migration. For example, Montserrat has been devastated by continued volcanic activity which started in 1995, and most of the population has been displaced. InterCARICOM hazard exposure is also variable. Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, and Guyana account for over three-fourths of regional population with their individual contributions at 18%, 55%, 9%, and 5% respectively. In terms of population density, Barbados, Grenada, and

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St. Vincent & the Grenadines have the highest numbers of persons/km2 at 580, 297, and 287 respectively. The natural resource base of CARICOM countries is narrow except for Guyana, Belize and Suriname. The most important economic activity in the region is tourism contributing 30-50% of GDP. “Over the past 20 years, these countries, with less than one per cent of the world’s population, have consistently received more than six per cent of the world’s tourism arrivals” (CARICOM Environment, 2003). The spectacular scenery and magnificent landscape for which the Caribbean is famous have been created by the very same hazardous processes that are a threat to its sustainable development. Climate is a natural resource in the Caribbean while climate extremes are a potential hazard. Catastrophic disasters in the Caribbean are inevitable on a longer time scale. However, natural disasters result from human decisions. How we choose to select building sites is critical in risk exposure. Therefore, in order to avoid and/or minimize the risk we must, as far as possible, strive to match land use with constraints posed by active geological and geomorphic processes especially those that have occurred in the Quaternary period of earth’s history. Society often pays a high price (the natural disasters) for ignoring a simple ground rule, that is, as far as possible efforts must be made at all levels to match land use with site geology and geomorphology (Gupta and Ahmad, 1999a; 1999 b). Being small island states, the Caribbean countries have high levels of economic and environmental vulnerability and risk. Indeed, the history of the Caribbean is replete with natural catastrophes. Many Caribbean societies have lived through natural disasters and have been shaped by them. The threat of global warming related hazards are a matter of serious concern. There have been large scale land use changes to the natural environment in the Circum-Caribbean over the last 300-400 years in order to facilitate anthropogenic activities. The high incidence of hydro-geological disasters in the CARICOM related to landslides, sediment floods and water floods and, storm surges is symptomatic of land use changes to meet the housing needs and economic aspirations of the growing population. New development takes place on marginal lands where slopes are cleared of trees and bush and natural drainage extensively modified. Tourism is the major economic activity that must utilize the land-water interface for its building plant. Figure II.1 is a historical summary of persons affected and economic damage in the wake of recent natural disasters, 1979-2004, related to processes of rainfall, riverine flooding, storm surge, landslides of different types and high winds. The costs are undoubtedly very high. R.Ahmad

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Figure II.1 Major natural disasters in the Caribbean (Source: Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM), 2004

According to ECLAC (2004), the impact of hurricanes on the Caribbean countries in the last three decades has manifested in losses and damage estimated at US$ 5.7 billion. “Of this amount, approximately 79% consisted of direct damage to infrastructure and capital assets, while 48% consisted of damage to the social and production sectors (including tourism)”. Natural disasters are regarded as one of the main reasons for the volatility of the Caribbean economies’ GDP (Commonwealth Secretariat, 1997 in ECLAC, 2005). The toll of natural disasters is appalling and rates of destruction increase decade after decade Tables II.1 and II.2. Exposure of the population of the Caribbean to multiple natural hazards ranges from 100% for the relatively smaller Saint Kitts & Nevis and Antigua & Barbuda to some 7% for Jamaica (Table II.3, Rasmussen, 2004). The number of hazards may be determined by considering

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that the Eastern Caribbean is in the Atlantic hurricane belt, and several of the countries are also subject to potential volcanic eruptions. Table II.1 Value of economic losses from disasters in CDERA participating states . 1970-1999 Country

No. of Occurrences

Antigua & Barbuda 7 Bahamas 4 Barbados 5 Belize 6 Dominica 7 Grenada 4 Guyana 5 Jamaica 19 Montserrat 5 St. Kitts & Nevis 7 St. Lucia 8 St. Vincent 9 Trinidad & Tobago 8 Source: CharvĂŠriat (2000)

Total Fatalities

Economic Losses (1998 $m.)

7 5 3 5 43 0 0 271 43 6 54 5 9

105.7 290.4 148.4 33.8 133.4 30.1 29.8 1,988.1 323.7 312.5 1554.6 47.0 16.7

Economic Losses as % of GDP (1995) 18.1% 9.5% 6.3% 5.4% 55.0% 9.5% 4.6% 29.3% 899.0% 116.5% 272.3% 16.5% 0.3%

Table II.2 Cost of damage from 2004 Hurricane Ivan in the Caribbean Country

% of GDP

Bahamas

Estimated Cost of Damage (US Dollars) 381.54M

Cayman Islands

3.5B

183% of GDP

Grenada

815M

200% of GDP

Jamaica

595M

8% of GDP

7.3% of GDP

Source: ECLAC (2005) A comparison of recent hurricane related natural disasters in three Caribbean islands with different sizes and physical infrastructure, the Bahamas, Grenada and the Dominican

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Republic1 reveal that infrastructure and housing are among the worst effected sectors. Preventive maintenance and better standards and building practices can minimize the disaster impact on infrastructure and housing (Box 2). Table II.3 Countries Most Exposed to Multiple Hazards. Country

Saint Kitts and Nevis Antigua and Barbuda Cayman Islands Dominica Cuba Jamaica

Percent of Total Area Exposed 100.00%

Percent of Population Exposed 100.00%

Maximum Number of Hazards 2

100.00%

100.00%

2

36.80% 8.10% 6.60% 5.70%

45.60% 4.30% 4.3% 7.20%

2 2 2 2

Modified from Rasmussen, 2004 Rasmussen (2004) has analyzed the macroeconomic implications of natural disasters in the Caribbean and has shown that their effects are: • • • • •

An immediate contraction in economic output. A worsening of external balances. Deterioration in fiscal balances. An increase in poverty. Natural disasters can affect long-term outcomes through a number of channels, including environmental damage to agriculture, fishing, and forestry

Natural disasters, environment and sustainable development are intimately linked. It has been widely recognized that the environmental sustainability of Caribbean development is increasingly under threat and as far as the major environmental issues are concerned the overall trend indicates worsening of the situation (ECLAC, 2005). Factors that heighten Caribbean regions vulnerability to natural disasters include not only the inherent natural exposure to hazards but also development in high-risk areas, lack of adherence to building codes and use of substandard materials, high levels of poverty, socio-economic exclusion and environmental degradation (Box 3). The Caribbean region’s most serious environmental problems include: •

Hazards induced by climate change: landslides, flooding (coastal flooding and river flooding), hurricanes ( winds exceeding 118km/hr, heavy rainfall, storm surge)

1

Dominican Republic is the eastern half of the island of Hispaniola which is shared with Haiti.

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desertification, erosion and sedimentation, salinization degradation of coral reefs

River-basin degradation

Deforestation

Waste disposal

Loss of habitat and biodiversity

Pollution of freshwater, coastlands and the atmosphere,

(CDB and CARICOM, 2004; Benn, 2004 in ECLAC, 2005).

Box 2 THE IMPACT OF HURRICANES IN THE BAHAMAS, GRENADA, AND THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

(From ECLAC, 2005; Primary source: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), “The 2004 Caribbean hurricane season: facts, figures, preliminary conclusions and lessons learned”, Preliminary Overview of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean, 2004 (LC/G.2265-P), Santiago, Chile, December 2004. “The Bahamas, an ecologically fragile archipelago whose territory includes more sea than land, was struck by hurricanes Frances and Jeanne, which caused direct damage and indirect economic losses equivalent to over 7% of the country’s GDP for 2003. Although the economy was expected to grow by about 3% in 2004 as a result of the expansion of tourism and freetrade zones through new investments in those sectors, the projection has been revised downward by two percentage points. Housing and road infrastructure were severely damaged, but the sectors hardest hit were in the area of production. The country will therefore need assistance in the coming months from international cooperation and emergency disaster relief initiatives. The passage of hurricane Ivan through Grenada will continue to affect that country’s economy for years to come. Economic growth is expected to drop by six percentage points in 2004, resulting in a 1.4% contraction of GDP. This growth slump is likely to continue for a number of years. Tourism and the production of traditional crops are the activities that have suffered the most. The total damage borders on US$ 889 million, which is more than twice the amount of Grenada’s 2003 GDP figure. Of this amount, 89% consists of direct damage and the remaining 11%, of indirect damage related to the domestic production of goods and services. Preliminary estimates indicate that hurricane Jeanne left the Dominican Republic with US$ 270 million in damage, equivalent to 1.7% of the country’s 2003 level of GDP. Of this total, 55% consists of direct losses, especially of agricultural assets and production, and the remaining 45% consists of indirect damage in various sectors, increases in operating costs and reduced earnings from services such as water, electricity, transport and tourism, among others. Most of the total damage (60%) was sustained by production sectors, while damage to

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national infrastructure accounts for 33% and damage to the social sector, for 6%. Taking into account other disasters that have struck the Dominican Republic in the last 12 months, such as the landslides and torrential rains of November 2003 and May 2004, the total damage in that country exceeds US$ 320 million (US$ 125 million in the agricultural sector).” BOX 3 Natural disasters vulnerability factors in the Caribbean (ECLAC ,2005) “The frequency of floods, droughts, hurricanes and storms seems to have risen, possibly because of higher concentrations of greenhouse gases. The region’s cities are extremely vulnerable not only to natural disasters, but also to technological ones (arising from the dangers inherent in high-risk activities). This situation has adverse microeconomic and macroeconomic implications at the local, regional and national levels. The main cause of vulnerability is the pattern of development observed in most of the countries, which is marked by high levels of poverty, socio-economic exclusion and environmental degradation (ECLAC, 2000c). This is compounded by runaway urban expansion, which, in poor sectors, is worsened by the occupation of high-risk land and the use of substandard materials”.

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III. A NATURAL HAZARD-PRONE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: JAMAICA AND THE CAPITAL CITY, KINGSTON We use the example of Jamaica to present an analysis of hazards, vulnerability and approaches to disaster risk reduction. Kingston, the capital city Jamaica is the most urbanized and populous city in the West Indies. Its vulnerability to multiple natural hazards is due primarily to inherent physical factors arising largely from geological history (Ahmad, 1996, Ahmad, 1998; Ahmad and Lyew-Ayee Jr., 2005, Ahmad et al., 1993; Carby and Ahmad, 1995; Gupta and Ahmad, 1999a and 1999b). The island forms a part of the geologically active earthquake zone that defines the central section of the boundary between the Caribbean and the North American tectonic plates (Fig. 1.3). The picturesque landscapes on the island primarily owe their existence to a series of land movements during the Holocene period1 of Earth’s history. The nature of bedrock, tectonic history and hazardous processes shape landforms on Jamaica. It is an area of geologically young landforms, weathering-limited steep hill slopes, high annual precipitation and periodic short duration and high magnitude rainfall from various types of tropical storms which often reach hurricane force. Tropical storms and tropical depressions are annual events creating conditions for the simultaneous occurrence of landslides, sediment floods and water floods island-wide. Major towns are located on coastal alluvial fans. Factors that heighten Jamaica’s vulnerability to natural disasters include development in highrisk areas, lack of adherence to building codes, high levels of poverty, and environmental degradation. The island’s water supply and road network are disrupted by recurrent disasters. This is well known for much of Jamaica. The hazards which affect the island most frequently are landslides, sediment floods and water floods (Ahmad, 2005a). However, the costs of rehabilitation and reconstruction have been increasing in the wake of recent natural disasters especially the damage to infrastructure. Carby and Ahmad (1995) have examined the vulnerability of roads and water systems to landslides and flooding by comparing impacts of a large-scale event, the 1988 hurricane Gilbert, and the relatively small-scale events of recurrent rainfall from non-hurricane storms of May 21-22, 1991, and the storm, Gordon of November 10-13, 1994. Urban vulnerability to landslides and flooding is highlighted by these two events 1

Holocene period: less than 10,000 years before present

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associated with non- hurricane rainfall but which caused a disproportionally high level of both short- and long-term indirect impact island-wide and affected a large number of persons.

Impact of Hurricane Gilbert, September 12, 1988: Water Systems: Approximately 60% of the islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water facilities, including pumping stations and water supply pipelines, were damaged by Hurricane Gilbert. The costs were estimated at 9% of the total hurricane damage of US$ 956 million. The Boar River Pipeline which is an important source of potable water to Kingston with a stated capacity of 41 million litres/day was damaged by a debris flow. Road network: Damage to the road network was caused by landslides, sediment floods, and water floods. Damage from flooding and landslides was not differentiated and lumped as flood damaged. Some 4% of the total roadway in the Above Rocks district of St. Andrew was blocked by debris flows. The total cost of repairs to the road network island wide was estimated at US$ 19.3 million. Environmental degradation: Approximately 20,000.00 metres3 of sediments were removed by landslides in one of the thirteen watersheds on the island. These sediments altered the flood dynamics of two rivers and were transported to off-shore coral reef systems. Rainfall of May 21-22, 1991: A low pressure system centered on the eastern and central Jamaica, May 21-22, 1991, dropped 20 to 38 cm rain in 24 hours triggering widespread landslides, sediment floods and water floods which caused comprehensive damage to water systems and the road network. Total damage was estimated at US$ 25.00 million. Damage to Tulloch Water Pipeline: Tulloch Water pipeline is placed along the Rio Cobre in the parish of St. Catherine. It is a 762 mm pipeline supplying potable water to some 100,000 residents in the fast growing satellite town of Portmore. Following the heavy rainfall on May 21-22, more than 1 km of Tulloch Pipeline was damaged by flood waters which scoured the road surface and excavated fill material around the pipe. This resulted in some 100,000 persons in Portmore losing approximately 80% of their water supply. Arrangements had to be made for trucking the water and there was the costly exercise of providing portable tanks. The cost of rehabilitation of the water system was US$1.5 million. Landslide blockage of Highway A1, Bog Walk Gorge: The low pressure system which developed over central Jamaica, May 21-22, 1991, dropped some 38cm of rainfall in 24 hours

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which triggered widespread landslide activity. In the Bog Walk Gorge, a large rock fall brought down hundreds of tons of rock blocks which closed Highway A1 for over six months and forced traffic to take lengthy detours. It has been shown that the recurrent small events are costly and their overall impact is grossly under-represented. Here is an important lesson for the elected and appointed officials of the state to appreciate the significance of indirect damage and to adopt preventive maintenance strategies. This message was echoed again in September 2004 when Hurricane Ivan passed south of Jamaica. Impact of September 2004 Hurricane Ivan (ECLAC, 2005): “In Jamaica, hurricane Ivan caused approximately US $575 million in damage, which is equivalent to 8% of the country’s GDP. Some 62% of this amount consists of direct destruction of physical assets, while the remaining 38% consists of indirect losses likely to result from lower levels of economic activity in 2004 and for three years thereafter. This will curtail the recovery that Jamaica has been experiencing since 2002, as the growth rate for 2004 is estimated at only 1.9% instead of 2.6% that was predicted prior to the hurricane” (ECLAC, 2004). The Capital city, Kingston The capital city, Kingston, was founded on the coastal plain of Liguanea in 1692. This followed the destruction of the buccaneer trading centre of Port Royal by liquefaction and submarine landslides that were triggered by the MMI X1 Port Royal Earthquake of June 6, 1692. Port Royal is located on the western end of the Palisadoes tombolo. A quarter of Port Royal’s population, numbering some 2,000, perished in that earthquake. The new city of Kingston started to grow as a port city with an excellent natural harbour ranked as the 7th largest in the world. In 1872, it had a population of 34,000. The M6.5 earthquake on January 14, 1907 and fire destroyed some 85% of the buildings and port facilities in the new city with damage estimated at more than US30.0 million dollars at the time of the disaster. By 1923, the spread of the city had occurred into the hilly terrains to the north and east. Kingston suffered an extensive damage from wind, and flooding and landslides associated with the rainfall from Hurricanes Charlie, August 17-18, 1951 and Flora, October 3-4, 1963. In the wake of Hurricane Charlie some 40,241 houses were either damaged or destroyed in south-eastern part of the island and approximately 50,000 persons 1

MMI X: Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, intensity value X

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displaced. Significant development of Kingston has taken place following the 1907 earthquake during six decades of low earthquake activity and also in a period with relatively low rainfall magnitudes. A greater part of the city is built on the gently undulating Liguanea Plain which is a Holocene gravel fan located at the base of a faulted mountain front and surrounded by a ring of low limestone hills that are followed outwards by the picturesque Port Royal Mountains. The Liguanea Plain was formed by sedimentation from the Hope River before the river was diverted into its present channel. The Kingston Harbour is located at the distal end of the fan. The sediments of the Liguanea plain comprise more than 100m thick sequence of gravels, sands, silt, and clays which form an aquifer and continues to be one of the significant sources of potable water for the residents of the city. The capital city and its suburbs are spread over a mosaic of reclaimed lands, coastal plains, alluvial fans, steep slopes along geological fault scarps in an area of some 450 km2. The average annual rainfall varies from 1000 mm on the Liguanea Plain to more than 1500mm on the mountain slopes. About 200-300 mm rainfall in 24 hours initiates landslides throughout Jamaica. This amount of rain is expected to fall once in 2-5 years over the hilly suburbs of Kingston. The present-day Kingston Metropolitan area hosts more than half-a-million people with a population density of about 1528 persons km-2. The lands surrounding the Kingston Harbour comprise both natural and reclaimed lands. This area houses the city’s key infrastructure including the international airport, sea ports and piers, power generation plants, oil refineries, oil depots, cement factory, flour mills, penitentiaries, multi storied buildings housing central bank, revenue collection offices, government offices and municipal offices. Within a distance of 1000m from the coast lives a substantial population of the city. Also located in this zone are the city mayor’s offices, newspaper offices, the Parliament, Supreme Court, public hospitals, public transport depots, educational institutions, businesses, financial institutions, factories and, cultural patrimony. Most of Kingston’s domestic water is obtained through pipelines and aqueducts that collect rain water runoff from rivers in the Port Royal Mountains and Blue Mountains. During each significant earthquake that has affected Jamaica the Palisadoes tombolo and land strip surrounding the Kingston Harbour have experienced liquefaction-related ground failures and the surrounding mountains, landslides. The earthquake ground motions are amplified in the unconsolidated and water-saturated sediments of the land strip surrounding the Kingston Harbour. According to Dr. John Shepherd

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“From the seismologist’s point of view the

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parishes of Kingston including Port Royal, and lower St. Andrew were probably the worst possible location to choose for the capital city of Jamaica” (Ahmad, 1998). Seismic hazard assessment for the Kingston Metropolitan area was completed in 1999. The main conclusions of this study from the point of view of construction of safe building practices were that “Within the Kingston Metropolitan area, ‘hard rock’ ground motions vary by as much as a factor of two and are consistently higher to the north and northeast than the southwest. The 10% probability of exceedance in 50 years acceleration values on hard rock ranges from 0.35 to 0.7g for the ‘worst” case model to 0.15 to 0.4 g for the ‘best” case model1 Most of the recurrent flood and landslide damage is due to rainfall from tropical storms and tropical depressions which are annual events. Since the 1970’s the Liguanea Plain has witnessed an explosion of building activity which has led to an increase in impervious cover and the channeling of the gullies concomitant with urbanization. This has increased the overland flow, and hence, flash floods. Landslides are triggered by both earthquakes and heavy rainfall and it is the rainfall-induced landslides which are most common. In the Kingston area, it is common for old landslides to be reactivated during subsequent rainfall events. Landslide Susceptibility Maps have been prepared for the Kingston Metropolitan Area, Jamaica by Rafi Ahmad and Jim McCalpin in 1999 for Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project2. A Landslide Loss Reduction Manual prepared by Rafi Ahmad, Jerome DeGraff and James P. McCalpin is also available3 The vulnerability of island’s built environment to natural disasters can be forecast (Ahmad, 2006).

1

Acceleration: measure of how fast and by what amount does the ground move during an earthquake, expressed

as a fraction of acceleration due to gravity (g = 980cm/sec2), (From: Dr. Bruce Bolt, Earthquakes, W.H. Freeman & Co., New York, 2004) 2 3

http://www.oas.org/cdmp/document/kma/udspub5.htm http://www.oas.org/cdmp/document/kma/udspub6.htm

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IV. RESPONSE TO HAZARDS RECENT TRENDS

AND

DISASTERS:

Background Disaster management activities in the Caribbean region follow a self-evolved protocol and are undertaken at different levels that involve a number of formal and informal actors. These are classified as follows (CDB and CARICOM, 2004). •

Local level Civil society (communities and their organizations) Local government Local disaster committees

National level Central planning and sectoral agencies National disaster office Business and industry

Sub- regional level OECS framework Country-to-country collaboration

Regional level Regional institutions, CDERA, CARICOM, CDB

Bi- and Multi-lateral lending institutions and donors

This pattern is evident throughout the Caribbean. However, who gets involved and when is dictated by the severity and extent of disaster. Most of the initiatives to facilitate short- and long- term relief, rehabilitation and mitigation in the wake of natural disasters are funded through donor agencies and worldwide humanitarian assistance. In the last 30 years, the art and science of disaster management have evolved into a multidisciplinary profession practiced by a cadre of professionals and consultants throughout the region providing services on demand. The major actor in the disaster management, however, remains the State through its various organs, since it is perceived as a matter of civil defense. Governments have assumed the sole responsibility of responding to natural disaster related crises. Thus disaster management has become a bureaucratic process subject to the constraints of governance. One of the sectors that continually records the highest level of damage in the wake of disasters is the infrastructure related to transportation, water, health. Since this is the responsibility of the

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State, most of the disaster aid accounts for the rehabilitation of infrastructure. The costs are undoubtedly high and there is scope for improvement in this area. It is argued here that the State engages in a comprehensive evaluation of its role in responding to natural disaster crises and identifies areas that may be divested to private enterprise and civil society organizations, e.g., International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC). There are lessons to this effect. For example, in order to improve upon the delivery of critical services traditionally provided by the government in the areas of health, education, electricity, many governments have divested these portfolios to private companies. Role of civil society including international humanitarian relief organizations The needs of general public affected by natural disasters are served by the civil society and its various organs such as churches, NGOs and community watch groups. However, most effective among the civil response to disasters are international humanitarian relief organizations, for example, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)1, and OXFAM. The personnel from these organizations are usually the first group of professionally trained persons to reach a disaster site to help the needy in a variety of ways and complement the efforts of the Governments. The IFRC personnel are specially trained and have international experience in assessing real-time societal needs. The IFRC not only looks after the immediate needs of the individuals but also compiles the field data and analysis into their annual “World Disasters Report”. The content of IFRC reports is highly valued in that trends and needs of affected societies are identified that may help to refine site-specific disaster response and mitigation strategies. This is a very important contribution. In recent years, the Caribbean Red Cross Societies have enlarged their activities to two very significant projects which will go a long way in helping the societies they serve.

1

���

Community-based disaster preparedness training: Caribbean Red Cross Societies http://www.ifrc.org/what/disasters/dp/activities/carib.asp

Guidelines for vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA) http://www.ifrc.org/what/disasters/dp/planning/vcaguidelines.asp

http://www.ifrc.org/what/disasters/dp/index.asp

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According to Mukesh Kapila, former Head of Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs, UK Department for International Development, World Disasters Report 2006 - Focus on neglected crises (http://www.ifrc.org/publicat/wdr2006/index.asp?navid=09_03) “Despite the rhetoric on good donorship and the mushrooming of the international aid reform industry, millions remain consigned to the shadows of unfashionable crises and disasters. For them, every day is a lottery to live or die. This report is a passionate critique of why this is still the case. It is essential reading for those impatient for faster change.” The challenge is how to improve the lot of those “millions remain consigned to the shadows of unfashionable crises and disasters. For them, every day is a lottery to live or die.” The answer is not easy to find. However, it is recommended that IFRC may help to lobby that the first step for the citizenry and governments is to utilize existing knowledge to make better land use decisions and to recognize the ground rules which if ignored turn hazards into disasters. The message is simple. Home is the safest place to be. Safer homes make safer communities. Safer communities make safer nations.

Role of the Caribbean governments All the CARICOM states are exposed to earthquake hazards. The severity, however, varies according to ground conditions. Hazards associated with volcanic activity are of concern to the Lesser Antilles. Exposure to coastal flooding related to storm surge is recurrent and costly but tsunami hazard, although present, is currently of low importance. The toll of natural disasters has peaked in the last three decades, 1970- 2000. The impacts of hurricanes and associated hazards are particularly devastating. Some 1,745 deaths have been ascribed to hurricanes over a period 1990 to 1998. “These figures are perhaps a reflection of the social vulnerability caused by poverty, environmental degradation and policy failures.” (CARICOM Environment, 2003) Member states of the CARICOM have a long history of responding to natural disasters. Traditionally the response to natural disasters has largely been reactive focused on ad hoc rescue, relief, and rehabilitation operations. Disasters were considered as social crises and

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therefore the main actors were police and armed forces supported by agents of the state who are accountable to the chief executive of the country. Even to this day a number of National Disaster Offices (NDO’s) across the region are under the supervision of retired military officers. The trend of ad hoc response continued until catastrophic flood rains in 1979 devastated the western section of the island of Jamaica. One of the lessons of this landmark event throughout the Caribbean was the recognition of the need to establish a specialized agency to coordinate disaster management. Thus, in 1980, the Government of Jamaica established “Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Relief Coordination (ODIPERC)” under the Prime Minister’s Office. On the contemporary international scene “United Nations Disaster Relief Organization (UNDRO)” started to assist disaster stricken countries. In the early 1980’s Caribbean governments recognized the critical and continuous need for a regional disaster management facility. The Conference of Ministers of Health was instrumental in the establishment of Pan Caribbean Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Project (PCDPPP) in 1981. It was located in Antigua. It was through the efforts of PCDPPP and technical and financial help from a number of international donor agencies that National Disaster Offices (NDO’s) were established in the CARICOM states with their own disaster management programmes. However, in 1989 CARICOM Heads of Government decided that the region would be well served by a regional body with a broad focus on regional disaster management. This initiative paved the way for the establishment of Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) located on the island of Barbados and replacing PCDPPP. The new agency is mandated to not only coordinate disaster preparedness in the member states but also to provide rapid and coordinated relief in the aftermath of a natural disaster. The Board of Directors of CDERA consists of the heads of national disaster relief organizations of Participating States, with the Coordinator of CDERA as its Chairman. Presently, disaster management activities in the Caribbean countries are made possible through their respective national disaster offices (NDO’s) (Appendix V). The primary intervention of the CARICOM countries to natural disasters occurring in their territories is one focused on a reactive response. This is reflected by the designated names of regional and national disaster offices (NDO’s) across the Caribbean islands (Appendix V). Jamaica provides a good example. Since its establishment in 1980, Jamaica’s national disaster agency has gone through several name changes and also changes in its parent government ministries: Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Relief Coordination (ODIPERC), Office of Disaster Preparedness (ODP), Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency R.Ahmad

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Management (ODPEM). These name changes reflect the changing role of the agency to include not only natural disasters management but also to widen its portfolio to include technological disasters and management of national events such as duties at Sabina Park to oversee staging of cricket matches under the auspices of the ICC Cricket World Cup. It appears that throughout the region the core function of the national disaster agencies may have been diluted with additional responsibilities but without provision of adequate logistical support. While CDERAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mandate originally focused on disaster response, much of its activities embrace broarder aspects of the disaster management including prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response, recovery and restoration through NDOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. To achieve these objectives CDERA has launched a Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) strategy which is an integrated management of natural and human-induced hazards aimed at the public and private sectors, civil society, urban and rural communities, and the general population in hazard-prone areas. Besides CDERA and NDOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, a number of other agencies in the region have helped to investigate, coordinate, and implement disaster mitigation strategies in the Caribbean. These include the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OCES), the Caribbean Development Bank, the Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project (CDMP) of Organization of American States (OAS) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Role of non-Governmental Organizations Among the non-governmental organizations, tertiary educational institutions in the region continue to play a key role in developing human resources through their research, teaching, and training programmes in the field of natural hazard risk reduction. For example, the University of the West Indies at Mona offers courses on natural hazards and disasters at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels including a four week summer course Analysis and Management of Natural hazards and Risks. UWI initiatives to support natural hazards work include the Seismic Research Unit (SRU), the Caribbean Disaster Information Network (CARDIN), the Virtual Disaster Library 1 the Unit for Disaster Studies2 the Earthquake Unit,

1 2

http://mona.uwi.edu/cardin/virtual_library/ http://www.mona.uwi.edu.jm/uds/

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the Environmental Management Unit (EMU), the Climate Studies Group, the Mona GeoInformatics Institute1, and the Institute for Sustainable Development. International response In September 2000, the United Nations embarked upon a comprehensive strategy to reverse environmental degradation by including Environmental Sustainability as Goal 7 of the Millennium Development Goals. However, major environmental hazards issues related to the Caribbean are only partially and imperfectly addressed by the targets and indicators set forth under Goal 7 (ECLAC, 2005). Therefore as suggested by Benn (2004), “Goal 7, along with some of its targets, should therefore be revised to better reflect the circumstances of the Caribbean”. In February 2007, the World Bank has launched the first disaster insurance plan “The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF)” to offer emergency assistance to 18 Caribbean countries if they are hit by a hurricane or earthquake2. The participating countries include Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago. The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) has released an assessment of the world’s 10 large rivers on March 22, 2007 to coincide with the World Water Day. Although based on the study of a few large rivers, the WWF warning on threats to the health of rivers is timely for policy makers. From the perspective of natural hazards in the Caribbean, changes in the dynamics of river systems in response to climate change are serious issues as they affect the flooding processes and sediment supplies (Ahmad et al., 1993). In Jamaica, Manning et el. (1992) have documented that landslides triggered by the 1988 Hurricane Gilbert which removed approximately 20,000 cubic metres of sediments from the hill slopes in the Rio Pedro and Wagwater River watersheds in North Western St. Andrew, Jamaica. These sediments were transported to the off-shore coral reef systems through rivers. It is well known that excessive sediments have a potential to affect the health of coral reefs which are vital to tourism interests. Sediments affect river channels by altering flow dynamics by chocking rivers with sediments thereby raising level of river beds and thus their flooding potential. Also, sediments block water intakes and cause turbidity in the potable water supply (Carby and Ahmad, 1995).

1

http://www.monainformatixltd.com/

2

http://www.worldbank.org/

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NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM)1 allows for the accurate measurement of the spatial and temporal variation of tropical rainfall around the globe and real time flood potential. TRMM observations help improve modeling of tropical rainfall processes and their influence on global circulation leading to better predictions of rainfall and its variability at various time scales. The Sourcebook on the Integration of Natural Hazards into the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Process is the most recent effort in this direction by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Adaptation to Climate Change in the Caribbean (ACCC) Project and Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM) (CDB and CARICOM, 2004). Discussion: The Caribbean island states must enact policies and actions to break the myth of the naturalness of natural disasters. Response to natural disasters must be based on the principle of pro-active response rather than reactive response. The region must promote and pursue “innovative solutions and integrated policies that simultaneously generate economic and social well-being, foster productive development and guarantee environmental sustainability” (ECLAC, 2005). Although it is not possible to prevent hurricanes, or earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions, the damage they cause can be reduced. In order to fulfill the land and natural resource demands of the growing population sound decisions are needed as to where and how we accommodate sustained growth and development. Although there may be similarities in physical settings, when it comes to land utilization every geographic region is unique. It is the understanding of site specific geologic and geomorphic landscape and their incorporation in environmental impact assessment practice that lay the foundation of prudent land use, protection of vital earth resources, avoidance of natural hazards, risk reduction from unavoidable hazards and those induced by climate change. It is here that physical and biological sciences make their greatest contribution. The quality of life in the Caribbean will partly depend on how well we incorporate geological knowledge into our land-use decisions (Ahmad, 2006). Preventing and mitigating vulnerability should be a policy priority. Actions to this end include early warning systems, disaster-resistant construction and measures to prevent human settlements from being located in high-risk areas.

1

http://trmm.gsfc.nasa.gov/publications_dir/potential_flood.html

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According to ECLAC (2005), “In general, environmental data in the Caribbean sub-region are of low quality, and in many cases do not include basic information.” Satellite imagery is rarely used in post-disaster data collection. Geographic information system (GIS) mapping is increasingly being used throughout the region. The nuts and bolts to achieve this are available. Minimizing risk from unavoidable hazards is possible by better understanding the natural hazardous processes. For example, areas of possible severe ground shaking, liquefaction, or landslides can be identified through geological mapping. Preparation of multihazard, vulnerability and risk maps and microzonation, guide urban land use planning and foster land use regulation ordinances. Explanation of local geology, natural hazard inventory and hazard maps data banks inform building codes and proper design of buildings. The need of a regulatory body to ensure compliance of structural safety norms is of paramount importance. Good governance requires that building laws be revised to ensure accountability of developers, architects and structural engineers. The right to information guarantees that all environmental studies, reports and data be made available to the civil society in a timely fashion.

Public education is a key component in harmonizing public participation in

sustainable development programmes sponsored by the state and in promoting a responsible public behaviour. Conclusions and way forward Is exposure to natural hazards increasing? The answer is yes. Urban centres with populations in excess of 1000 persons are continually being created throughout the Caribbean thus increasing concentration of people and values. Also, complex utility networks are being constructed. These systems are exposed to all the classical risks and their exposure and vulnerabity are disproportionate. Disaster mitigation requires a comprehensive analysis of past disaster events. However, data on causes of disasters, damage to physical environment, and indirect damage are generally not available. Systematic post-disaster surveys are critical in this respect. Most post-disaster surveys in the region, however, are rapid, reconnaissance field type surveys focusing on cumulative direct damage related to social concerns to assist relief operations and rehabilitation of infrastructure. Natural disaster GIS-based inventory registers and data repositories maintained at regional and national levels facilitate evaluation of structural mitigation measures, performance monitoring, and avoidance of hazard-prone sites for rebuilding purposes through “lessons learned type” of exercises.

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It is imperative for the State to insist that future decisions on site selection must take into consideration existing knowledge and new findings. Losses that may be caused by natural hazards and technological risks must be identified and modeled in advance. The Caribbean needs to develop natural hazard indexing and geocoding criteria of their urban assets. There should be a strong emphasis on saving human lives in all the disaster management programmes. We must strive for greater transparency regarding governmental actions and policies on site selection for housing and infrastructure and practical steps to reduce losses from natural hazards. How can we access natural hazards knowledge? The answer is by creating state-of-the-art Information and communication Technology (ICT) Systems. Science in itself will not protect us. Educated citizens and policy makers using information will be able to make better decisions The way forward to building safer homes, communities, and nations is through •

supporting basic research to understand hazardous processes;

developing warning systems;

practicing better land use planning through hazard maps

instituting better building standards for multiple hazard scenarios.

It is required of the governments to consider how their decisions influence vulnerability to hazards. Hydro-geologic hazards are amenable to measures directed at avoidance and/or prevention. However, given the ever increasing toll of the disaster events, loss of productivity and fiscal impacts it would appear that the management and interpretation of hazard information has been inconsistent across various state agencies. Demands on urban growth and housing, expansion of tourism plant and infrastructure development are placing pressure on state authorities to allow development in areas with serious land use constraints because of their exposure to landslides, sediment floods, and flooding. It is difficult to implement mitigation strategies for infrequent but catastrophic natural disasters.

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REFERENCES Ahmad, R. (1996), The Jamaican Earthquake of January 13, 1993: geology and geotechnical aspects, Journal of Geological Society of Jamaica, vol. 30, pp. 15-31. Ahmad, R. (1998) Physical environment and geohazards in Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Thomas, Jamaica, Contributions to Geology, No. 3, the University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica, pp.22-28. Ahmad, R. (2005a), What We Call Flood in Jamaica is Important http://mona.uwi.edu/cardin/virtual_library/docs/1131/1131.pdf Ahmad, R. (2005b) Coastal Vulnerability and Tsunami Hazard in Jamaica http://mona.uwi.edu/cardin/virtual_library/docs/1135/1135.pdf Ahmad, R. (2005c) Vulnerability of Water Supply to Natural Hazards in Jamaica http://mona.uwi.edu/cardin/virtual_library/docs/1130/1130.pdf Ahmad, R. (2006) Protecting Built Environment in a Natural Hazard-Prone City: Kingston, Jamaica http://mona.uwi.edu/cardin/virtual_library/docs/1138/1138.pdf Ahmad, R. (2006) Protecting Built Environment in a Natural Hazard-Prone City: Kingston, Jamaica http://mona.uwi.edu/cardin/virtual_library/docs/1138/1138.pdf Ahmad, R. (2007) Debris floods and debris flows in the Caribbean, Proceedings of a workshop â&#x20AC;&#x153;Enduring Geohazardsâ&#x20AC;? organized by CLEAR at the St. Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies on August 8, 2004 (in press). Ahmad, R. and Brown, L. (2003) Assessment of Rainfall Characteristics and Landslide Hazards in Jamaica http://mona.uwi.edu/cardin/virtual_library/docs/1139/1139.pdf Ahmad, Rafi, Baban, S.M.J. (2004), Sediment-Water Floods in the Caribbean http://mona.uwi.edu/cardin/virtual_library/docs/1133/1133.pdf Ahmad, Rafi, and Parris Lyew-Ayee Jr. (2005), The shaping of Kingston by its urban geology, Field Trip 2, In Simon F. Mitchell (Ed.), Programme, Abstracts and Field Guides, The geological Society of Jamaica 50th Anniversary Conference, December 1 to 4, 2005, The Geological Society of Jamaica, Department of Geography and Geology, The University of the West Indies, Mona, pp.26-41. Ahmad, R., Scatena, F.N., and Gupta, A. (1993), Morphology and sedimentation in Caribbean montane streams: examples from Jamaica and Puerto Rico, Sedimentary Geology, vol.85, pp 157-169. Ahmad, Rafi, Baban, S.M.J., Sant, K., Chinchali, A. (2004), Flooding and landslides in the West Indies: digging deeper into the dirt; Newsletter March 2004, The Geological Society of

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Trinidad

and

Tobago,

pp.

9-13.

http://www.gstt.org/publications/The%20Hammer

Mar20042.pdf Ahmad, R., Robinson E., and Rowe, D.-A.C., 2005, Storm surge and tsunami coastal processes in Jamaica, Proceedings of the 7th Conference faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, UWI, Kingston, May 16-19, 2005, University of the west Indies, Mona, Jamaica, 38. Benn, D (2004) “The Millennium Development Goals in the Caribbean: conceptual issues and methodological challenges”, paper presented at the conference Framework for Caribbean Investigation and Analysis, Port of Spain, 24 and 25 May 2004, and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Regional Report on the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in the Caribbean Community, Mona, University of the West Indies, 2004 cited in ECLAC, 2005. Carby, B.E. and Ahmad, R. (1995), Vulnerability of roads and water systems to hydrogeological hazards in Jamaica, Built Environment, vol. 21, pp.145-153. CARICOM Environment (2003), the CARICOM Environment in Figures 2002, Caribbean Community Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana http://www.caricomstats.org/Files/Publications/Caricom%20Environment%20in%20FiguresJune%202003.pdf Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM), 2004, Sourcebook on the Integration of Natural Hazards into the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Process, Caribbean Development Bank, Barbados, 217 pp. Charvériat, C. (2000), Natural Disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Overview of Risk, Working Paper No. 434, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, USA. Costa, John E. (1984) Physical geomorphology of debris flows; In Developments and Applications of Geomorphology, J.E. Costa and P.J. Fleisher ( Eds.), Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 268-317 Costa, John E., and Jarrett, Robert D. (1981) Debris flows in small mountain stream channels of Colorado and their hydrologic implications; Bulletin of the Association of Engineering Geologists, vol. XVIII, pp. 309- 322 Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) 2004, the 2004 Caribbean hurricane season: facts, figures, preliminary conclusions and lessons learned, Preliminary Overview of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean, 2004 (LC/G.2265-P), Santiago, Chile, December 2004

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Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) 2005, the Millennium Development Goals: a Latin American and Caribbean perspective http://www.eclac.cl/publicaciones/xml/0/21540/lcg2331.pdf Grindlay, N.R., Hearne, M. and Mann, P., 2005, High risk of tsunami in the northern Caribbean: research focuses on active plate boundary faults and potential submarine landslides, EOS Trans. Amer. Geophy. Union, 86 (12), 121. Gupta, A. and Ahmad, R. (1999 a), Urban steeplands in the tropics:an environment of accelerated erosion, Geojournal, vol. 49, pp.43-150. Gupta, A. and Ahmad, R. (1999 b), geomorphology and the urban tropics: building an interface between research and usage, Geomorphology, vol. 31, pp.133-149. Hungr, O., Evans, S.G., Bovis, M.J., and Hutchinson, J.N. (2001) A review of the classification of landslides of the flow type; Environment and Engineering Geoscience, vol. VII, pp. 221-238 Lander, J.J., Whiteside, L.S., and Lockridge, P.A., 2002, A brief history of tsunamis in the Caribbean, Sci. Tsunami Hazards 20, (2), 57-94. Manning, Paul A.S., McCain, Trevor and Ahmad, R. (1992), Landslides triggered by 1988 hurricane Gilbert along roads in the Above Rock area, Jamaica, In: Ahmad, R. Editor, Special Issue No 12, Journal of the Geological Society of Jamaica, Kingston, pp. 34-53. Organization of American State (OAS), 1991, Primer on Natural Hazard Management in Integrated Regional Development Planning, Organization of American State (OAS) Washington DC, http://www.oas.org/osde/publications/Unit/oea66e/begin.htm Scheffers, A., Scheffers, K., and Kelletat, D., 2005, Paleo-tsunami relics on the southern and central Antillean Island Arc, Journ. Coast. Res. 21(2): 263-273. Rasmussen, Tobias N. 2004, Macroeconomic Implications of Natural Disasters in the Caribbean, International Monetary Fund Working Paper WP/04/224,December 2004, 24pp. Robinson E., Rowe, D.-A.C. and Khan, Shakira, A., 2006, Wave-emplaced boulders on Jamaicaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rocky shores, Z. Geomorph. N. F., 146, 39-57.

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APPENDIX V NATIONAL DISASTER AGENCIES IN THE CARICOM MEMBER STATES (Source: CDERA) • •

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Anguilla Mrs Elizabeth F. Klute Director Department of Disaster Management Deputy Governor’s Office James Ronald Webster Building P.O. Box 60, The Valley, Anguilla Tel: (264) 497-2926 Fax: (264) 497-3134 Office Email: ddm@gov.ai NDC Email: elizabeth.klute@gov.ai Antigua / Barbuda Patricia Julian Director National Office of Disaster Services P.O. Box 1399, American Road St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda Tel: (268) 460-7075 Fax: (268) 462-4742 Office Email: nods@antigua.gov.ag The Bahamas Carl Smith National Disaster Coordinator National Emergency Management Agency Cabinet Office, PO Box N-7145 Nassau, The Bahamas Tel: (242) 322-2805 Fax: (242) 326-5456 Office Email: nema@bahamas.gov.bs NDC Email: carlfsmith@bahamas.gov.bs Website: NEMA Bahamas Barbados Judy Thomas Director Central Emergency Relief Organisation No.30 Warrens Industrial Park St. Michael, Barbados Tel: (246) 438-7575 Fax: (246) 421-8612 Office Email: cero@caribsurf.com NDC Email: jthomas@barbados.gov.bb http://www.cero.gov.bb

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• •

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Belize Lt. Col. George Lovell Deputy National Coordinator National Emergency Management Organization Nemo Headquarters, Belmopan, Belize (Central America) Tel: (501) 8-222054 Fax: (501) 8-222861 Office Email: nemobelize@nemo.org.bz NDC Email: NationalCoordinator@nemo.org.bz http://www.nemo.org.bz BVI Sharleen DaBreo Director Department of Disaster Management #3 Wailing Road, MacNamara Tortola, British Virgin Islands Tel: (284) 494-4499 Fax: (284) 494-2024 NDC Email: sdabreo@surfbvi.com Office Email: bviddm@surfbvi.com http://www.bviddm.com/ Dominica Cecil Shillingford National Disaster Coordinator Office of Disaster Management Post Office Building, Bayfront Roseau, Dominica Tel: (767) 448-2401 ext 3296 Fax: (767) 448-2883 Email: j73cs@yahoo.com Grenada Sylvan McIntyre Acting National Disaster Coordinator National Disaster Management Agency Fort Frederick, Mt. Wheldale St. Georges, Grenada Tel: (473) 440-0838 Fax: (473) 440-6674 Email: nadma@caribsurf.com http://www.spiceisle.com/nero Guyana Col Chabilall Ramsarup Commissioner Civil Defense Commission Camp Ayangauna Annex, Thomas Lands Georgetown, Guyana Tel: (592) 226-1114, 226-1117, (592) 226-9201, (592) 226-8815 Fax: (592) 226-1027 Email: civdef@networksgy.com

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• •

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Jamaica Ronald Jackson Director General (ag) Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management P.O. Box 122, 12 Camp Road Kingston 4, Jamaica Tel: (876) 928-5111- 4 Fax: (876) 928-5503/8763 Office Email: odpem@cwjamaica.com NDC Email: rjackson@odpem.org.jm http://www.odpem.org.jm Montserrat Captain Horatio Tuitt Director Disaster Management Coordination Agency, St John's, Montserrat Tel: (664) 491-7166 Fax: (664) 491-2465/7003 Office Email: dmca@gov.ms NDC Email: tuittqh@gov.ms St Kitts/ Nevis Carl Herbert National Disaster Coordinator National Emergency Management Agency Lime Kiln, Basseterre, St Kitts/Nevis Tel: (869) 466-5100 Fax: (869) 466-5310 Email: nemaskb@thecable.net Saint Lucia Dawn French Director National Emergency Management Organisation P.O. Box 1517, Red Cross Building Vigie, Castries, Saint Lucia Tel: (758) 452-3802 Tel: (758) 468-2126 Fax: (758) 453-2152 Email: slunemo@gmail.com http://www.geocities.com/slunemo St Vincent and the Grenadines Howie M. Prince Coordinator National Emergency Management Office Office of the Prime Minister , Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines Tel: (784) 456-2975 Fax: (784) 457-1691

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Email: nemosvg@yahoo.com • •

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Trinidad and Tobago Paul Saunders Cheif Executive Officer Office for Disaster Preparedness and Management No 4 Orange Grove Road Trincity, Tacarigua, Trinidad & Tobago Tel: (868) 640-8905/1285/8653/6493 Fax: (868) 640-8988 Office Email: odpmtt@tstt.net.tt NDC Email: directorodpm@tstt.net.tt http://www.odpm.gov.tt Turks and Caicos Islands Joyce Peters Director Disaster Management & Emergencies South Base, Grand Turk Turks and Caicos Islands Tel: (649) 946-1425 Fax: (649) 946-1230 Office Email: hurrican@tciway.tc NDC Email: jpeters@gov.tc

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Caribbean_Ahmad