Caribbean Hurricanes - Fact Sheet #4

September 10, 2017

  • Hurricane Jose passes approximately 75 miles from island of St. Martin; results in less damage than anticipated in the Caribbean region.
  • Disaster declaration issued for Dutch Sint Maarten due to the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Jose.
  • USAID/OFDA provides $200,000 to address hurricane-related needs in French Saint-Martin and Dutch Sint Maarten.

Between September 9 and 10, Hurricane Jose passed approximately 75 miles northwest of the island of St. Martin—composed of the French territory of Saint-Martin and the Dutch territory of Sint Maarten—with maximum sustained winds of nearly 130 miles per hour, according to international media and the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Tropical storm conditions, including strong gusts and swells, affected parts of the northern Leeward Islands—including St. Barthelemy and St. Martin—and the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, NHC reports. Overall, the storm caused less damage than expected in the Caribbean region, according to initial reports from relief stakeholders.

On September 10, U.S. Embassy in the Hague Chargé d’Affaires Shawn Crowley issued a disaster declaration for the Dutch territory of Sint Maarten due to the impacts of Hurricane Irma and the potential effects of Hurricane Jose. USAID/OFDA is providing $200,000 in assistance to address the needs of hurricane-affected populations on the island of St. Martin.

USAID/OFDA continues to coordinate with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), host country governments, and humanitarian organizations in Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Saint-Martin, Sint Maarten, and other hurricane-affected areas to assess damages and related needs.

Numbers At A Glance


Reported Fatalities in the Caribbean Region due to Hurricane Irma


Targeted USAID/OFDA Beneficiaries in The Bahamas


Targeted USAID/OFDA Beneficiaries in Antigua and Barbuda

Humanitarian Funding

For the Caribbean Hurricanes in FY 2017

USAID/OFDA $419,593

The passage of Hurricane Jose on September 9 resulted in no damage to the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, and local officials and communities have initiated clean-up efforts, according to USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) contacts on the ground. Barbuda sustained catastrophic damage when Hurricane Irma passed directly over the island on September 6, destroying nearly all infrastructure, including electrical, telecommunications, and water supply networks.

As of September 9, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda National Office of Disaster Services had registered more than 1,300 Barbudan evacuees; the office notes that additional, unregistered evacuees are present on Antigua. The Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross Society (ABRCS) estimates the pre-hurricane population of Barbuda at 1,600 residents. The majority of evacuees from Barbuda are residing temporarily with friends or relatives on Antigua.

With USAID/OFDA support, ABRCS is providing emergency relief items to approximately 1,000 hurricane-affected people on Antigua and Barbuda, including an estimated 500 evacuees from Barbuda who are staying in shelters on Antigua island.

The Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency reported limited damage—including to telecommunications equipment, roads, and other infrastructure—in the southern Bahamas islands, following the passage of Hurricane Irma on September 8 and 9. Additional damage assessments following the passage of Hurricane Jose remained ongoing as of September 10.

With USAID/OFDA support, the Bahamas Red Cross Society (BRCS) is providing emergency relief items to approximately 3,000 hurricane-affected people in The Bahamas

Hurricane Irma had resulted in at least 10 deaths, more than 110 injuries, and widespread infrastructure damage across the island of St. Martin as of September 8, according to the UN.

On September 9, U.S. Embassy in Paris Chargé d’Affaires D. Brent Hardt declared a disaster for the French territory of Saint-Martin due to the impacts of Hurricane Irma and potential effects of Hurricane Jose. In response, USAID/OFDA is providing an initial $100,000 to meet urgent humanitarian needs—including emergency relief supplies and water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance—in the territory.

On September 10, U.S. Embassy in the Hague Chargé d’Affaires Shawn Crowley issued a disaster declaration for the Dutch territory of Sint Maarten due to the impacts of Hurricane Irma and the potential effects of Hurricane Jose.

USAID/OFDA continues to coordinate closely with other USG entities, the governments of France and the Netherlands, and relief organizations to respond to humanitarian needs across St. Martin.

On September 8, Hurricane Irma passed the British territory of Turks and Caicos Islands as a Category 5 storm, resulting in damage to shelters, police stations, and other public infrastructure and causing widespread power outages, the UN reports. As of September 8, a Turks and Caicos official reported no deaths as a result of the storm; assessments of hurricane-related damages and needs remained ongoing as of September 10.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is supporting USAID/OFDA efforts to provide emergency assistance through the transport of humanitarian personnel, relief supplies, and other critical logistics support in St. Martin and other hurricane-affected islands.

Through nearly $55,000 in ongoing FY 2017 assistance, USAID/OFDA partners Cooperazione Internazionale, the International Organization for Migration, and the Pan American Development Foundation supported Government of Haiti preparedness and response efforts through disaster mitigation activities, such as clearing drainage canals; humanitarian coordination and information management support, including disseminating storm alerts; and local procurement and distribution of emergency relief commodities to households in temporary shelters.

The USAID DART and Washington, D.C.-based Response Management Team (RMT) are coordinating with government officials and other stakeholders throughout the Caribbean efforts to evaluate and respond to hurricane-related needs.

The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF)—a multi-country pooled insurance mechanism designed to reduce the financial burden of natural events such as earthquakes and hurricanes on countries in the region—is providing approximately $15.6 million to the governments of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis to meet humanitarian needs resulting from the effects of Hurricane Irma. In addition, the Caribbean Development Bank has issued emergency response grants amounting to $200,000 for response efforts in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, and Turks and Caicos.

On September 7, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) announced £32 million—approximately $42 million—in assistance to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of hurricane-affected families in the Caribbean, including in the UK territories of Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, and Turks and Caicos. The Government of the UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary has also delivered six metric tons (MT) of emergency assistance to Anguilla and conducted immediate response activities—including clearing roads, restoring power, and reinforcing shelters and the emergency operations center—on the island.

The Government of France has deployed approximately 800 members of French Armed Forces—including 400 gendarmes and 400 military firefighters—from Guadeloupe to conduct initial response activities in Saint-Martin and is coordinating with relief actors to support initial damage and needs assessments in the territory.

On September 8, the Government of Canada announced $260,000 in funding—including $100,000 to CDEMA and $60,000 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies—for hurricane response efforts, including in Antigua and Barbuda, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and St. Kitts and Nevis.

Hurricane Irma—the strongest Atlantic hurricane on record—began affecting the eastern Caribbean in early September. On September 6, the hurricane made landfall over the island of Barbuda in the northeastern Caribbean before passing near The Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. The hurricane brought destructive winds, heavy rainfall, and dangerous storm surge, resulting in one fatality and destroying an estimated 90 percent of structures on Barbuda.

On September 6, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., Lisa A. Johnson issued a disaster declaration in response to the anticipated effects of Hurricane Irma in The Bahamas, and on September 7, U.S. Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Linda S. Taglialatela issued a disaster declaration in response to Hurricane Irma and the anticipated effects of Hurricane Jose in Antigua and Barbuda. In response, USAID/OFDA is contributing an initial $100,000 each to the Bahamas Red Cross Society and the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross Society.

On September 7, USAID activated a regional DART with staff in The Bahamas, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. USAID also stood up a Washington, D.C.-based RMT to coordinate the USG’s humanitarian response to the hurricanes.

The most effective way people can assist relief efforts is by making cash contributions to humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations. A list of humanitarian organizations that are accepting cash donations for disaster responses around the world can be found at

USAID encourages cash donations because they allow aid professionals to procure the exact items needed (often in the affected region); reduce the burden on scarce resources (such as transportation routes, staff time, and warehouse space); can be transferred very quickly and without transportation costs; support the economy of the disaster-stricken region; and ensure culturally, dietary, and environmentally appropriate assistance.

More information can be found at: USAID Center for International Disaster Information: or +1.202.661.7710. Information on relief activities of the humanitarian community can be found at