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Cablegate: Jamaica: Gustav Ofda Funding Citation Request

VZCZCXRO3221
RR RUEHGR
DE RUEHKG #0762 2461334
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 021334Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINGSTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6713
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
RUMIAAA/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS KINGSTON 000762

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE PASS GUSTAV MONITORING GROUP

STATE FOR DCHA/OFDA (DMANNING)
(RTHAYER) WHA/CAR (ACADIEUX) (VDEPIRRO)

WHA/EPSC (MROONEY)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AID AEMR ASEC ECON CASC PINR XL JM
SUBJECT: JAMAICA: GUSTAV OFDA FUNDING CITATION REQUEST

REF: KINGSTON 761
KINGSTON 760

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: ACTION REQUEST: THIS CABLE REQUESTS IMMEDIATE
ADVICE ON A FUNDING CITATIONS FOR USD 100,000 TO BE AVAILABLE TO
SUPPORT THE GOVERNMENT OF JAMAICA'S OFFICE OF DISASTER PREPAREDNESS
AND NON PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS IN THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT EFFORTS TO
ASSESS AND RESPOND TO DAMAGE SUSTAINED DURING TROPICAL STORM GUSTAV.
END SUMMARY

2. (U) AT 12:30 HOURS ON AUGUST 28, 2008, TROPICAL STORM GUSTAV MADE
LANDFALL IN THE EAST OF JAMAICA. THE STORM FOLLOWED A PATH THAT
CARRIED IT ALONG THE SOUTHERN PARISHES OF JAMAICA CAUSING
SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE TO INFRASTRUCTURE AND FLOODING TO VARIOUS
COMMUNITIES LOCATED THROUGHOUT THE ISLAND. FOUR PARISHES ST.
THOMAS, ST. CATHERINE, PORTLAND AND ST. MARY ARE THE WORST AFFECTED.
ELEVEN PEOPLE ARE REPORTED MISSING AND FOUR PEOPLE ARE CONFIRMED
DEAD. APPROXIMATELY 4,000 PERSONS HAVE BEEN DIRECTLY AFFECTED BY
THE STORM, 120 ROADS ARE IMPASSABLE BEING BLOCKED BY DEBRIS OR ARE
FLOODED. 65 PERCENT OF THE WATER SUPPLY HAS BEEN AFFECTED AS A
RESULT OF TURBIDITY, BLOCKAGE, FLOODING OR LACK OF POWER. STORM
WIND DAMAGE AFFECTED ALMOST HALF OF THE ELECTRICAL GRID IN THE
COUNTRY.

3. (SBU) GOJ EFFORTS: ALTHOUGH THE GOVERNMENT OF JAMAICA IS
HESITANT TO DECLARE A NATIONAL DISASTER, IT IS WILLING TO ACCEPT USG
ASSISTANCE. THE GOVERNMENT, THROUGH THE OFFICE OF DISASTER
PREPAREDNESS AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT (ODPEM), HAS MADE AN APPEAL
REQUESTING RELIEF SUPPLIES TO ASSIST THE INMEDIATE HUMANITARIAN
NEEDS OF THE AFFECTED POPULATION. ODPEM IS ACTIVELY CARRYING OUT
DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS ACROSS THE ISLAND, AND POTENTIAL POST RECOVERY
ASSISTANCE IN REBUILDING LOST INFRASTRUCE WILL BE NEEDED. IT SHOULD
BE NOTED THAT THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR HAS SUFFERED HEAVY LOSSES AND
POST RECOVERY SUPPORT SHOULD CONSIDER ASSISTANCE TO ADDRESSING CROP
DAMAGE AND LIVELIHOODS.

4. (U) INTERNATIONAL DONOR ASSISTANCE: A UNDP EMERGENCY
COORDINATION GROUP HAS MET WITH ODPEM FOR SPECIFIC REQUESTS OF
ASSISTANCE. COORDINATIONS ARE BEING MADE AS TO MINIMIZE DUPLICATION
OF EFFORTS, MORE INFORMATION TO FOLLOW.

5. (U) MS. AUDREY MULLINGS, THE USAID/OFDA DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT
SPECIALIST CONSULTANT HAS CONDUCTED AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE OF THE
AFFECTED AREA AND WILL PROVIDE SPECIFIC DETAILS OF DAMAGE AT A LATER
TIME. MR. SIDNEY VELADO, OFDA REGIONAL ADVISOR HAS ARRIVED TO
SUPPORT THE MISSION TO DEVELOP A HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE TO THE DAMAGE
SUSTAINED DURING THE TROPICAL STORM.

6. (U) BECAUSE OF THE EXTENT OF DAMAGE AS DESCRIBED ABOVE, THE
AMBASSADOR HAS MADE A DETERMINATION THAT THE DISASTER IS OF
SUFFICIENT MAGNITUDE TO MERIT A DISASTER DECLARATION AND THAT IT IS
IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE USG TO RESPOND. IN ACCORDANCE WITH
USAID DISASTER GUIDANCE (STATE 205089) AND POST'S DISASTER RELIEF
PLAN, AMBASSADOR JOHNSON REQUESTS USD 50,000 AS PER AMBASSADOR'S
AUTHORITY AND AN ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTION OF USD 50,000 AS PER
USAID/OFDA REGIONAL ADVISOR'S RECOMMENDATION. THE FUNDS WILL BE USED
TO PROVIDE ODPEM WITH AERIAL OVERFLIGHT SUPPORT AND FOR HUMANITARIAN
RELIEF SUPPLIES TO BE DISTRIBUTED EITHER THROUGH ODPEM OR NON PROFIT
ORGANIZATIONS.

7. (U) THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO REPORTS OF U.S. CITIZENS' INJURIES
AND DEATHS.

8. (U) SEAN OSNER IS THE MISSION DISASTER RELIEF OFFICER. HIS PHONE
NUMBER IS 011-383-8905.

9. (U) ACTION REQUESTED: PLEASE ADVISE FUNDING CITATION BY
IMMEDIATE CABLE.

10. (U) FURTHER SITREPS WILL FOLLOW.

HEG

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