Hurricane Maria, the third massive hurricane to hit the Caribbean during the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, traveled over Dominica on September 18th as a Category 5 storm. It then impacted the island of Antigua and Barbuda, which was still reeling over Irma a week prior. On the 19th, it impacted Monserrat and St. Kitts and Nevis before moving over the Virgin Islands on the 20th.
-International Medical Corps is currently assessing needs in Puerto Rico.
-Electricity is expected to be out for months.
-Normal flight schedule has not resumed in Puerto Rico.
-The Caribbean ERT is establishing partnerships throughout the Caribbean to support mental health and primary health care initiatives.
-Dominica appears to be the hardest-hit island, with all agricultural crops destroyed and 98% of homes suffering significant damage.
International Medical Corps Response
International Medical Corps is now responding throughout the US and its territories and the Caribbean to ensure that families and communities are safe, healthy and have the resources they need to recover.
International Medical Corps deployed a team to Puerto Rico, where 13 people have died, to help meet the most urgent needs and support recovery efforts for those impacted by the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Assessments are under way, which will allow for a scale up in support in the coming days.
On other Caribbean islands, International Medical Corps is collaborating with responders to ensure that doctors, nurses and other medical professionals and supplies can reach the most affected areas. Our teams report that the most immediate urgent needs – food, water and shelter – are being met for most of those affected. Teams are now assessing recovery needs across the islands, including Dominica, to determine how we can best get the health systems back up and running. In addition, we are collaborating with the University of the West Indies to provide mental health and psychosocial support services to those affected by the crises across USVI, BVI, and other islands. And in Haiti, International Medical Corps teams continue to expand their cholera treatment and prevention work, ensuring that families recovering from the impact of Hurricane Irma are able to prevent the spread of this deadly disease.
In Florida, International Medical Corps is supporting a network of 30 local clinics in and around Fort Myers, an area hit hard by Hurricane Irma. With the clinic’s 500 staff largely displaced from their homes, International Medical Corps will provide sanitation facilities so that staff can return to work; in addition, our teams are helping restore power and rehabilitate the network’s clinic in Bonita Springs, which serves some 30,000 people. Moving forward, we will be collaborating with a clinic network in Miami-Dade County as well, helping to restore health services to communities affected by the storm.