Oxfam country teams and partner organizations in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba are now preparing to respond to probable damage from the impact of Hurricane Irma, to help people who are likely to be hardest-hit there.
The category 5 hurricane (Saffir-Simpson scale) has just made landfall in the Caribbean with winds up to 185 miles per hour, passing over Barbuda and moving towards the north into Hispaniola Island on Thursday. Oxfam teams are also closely monitoring tropical storm Jose which is developing in the southern Caribbean. In northern Haiti, Oxfam has a team in place in Cap Haitian that is primed to reach the most affected areas immediately after Irma hits. They will determine Oxfam’s initial humanitarian response. Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba have activated their contingency plans, and are coordinating likely response efforts with partner organizations and government agencies there.
Oxfam has worked in the Caribbean region for over 30 years and has expert teams in providing safe water and carrying out sanitation and hygiene work for those people most vulnerable after an emergency strikes. Oxfam responded to last year´s Hurricane Matthew in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba.
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Satellite image credit: NOAA via Reuters