Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project
Quarterly Program Performance Report
January-March 1998

Prepared For:
Cooperative Agreement No. 940-1008-A-00-3522-00

Issued By:
Organization of American States
Unit of Sustainable Development and Environment

1889 F Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20011

April 1998



The following table lists CDMP activities that affect or reference the countries listed.

Country Activity
Antigua and Barbuda 3.4.1 Regional Storm Assessment
5.3 School/shelter Vulnerability Reduction in OECS
6.1 Hurricane-resistant Home Improvement Program
Barbados 3.4.1 Regional Storm Assessment
Belize 3.2 Belize River Flood Hazard Assessment
Dominica 3.3 Dominica Sea Defense Study
3.4.1 Regional Storm Assessment
5.3 School/shelter Vulnerability Reduction in OECS
6. Building Standards and Practices
6.1 Hurricane-resistant Home Improvement Program
9. Post-disaster Mission
Dominican Republic 4. Community Disaster Preparedness
Grenada 6.1 Hurricane-resistant Home Improvement Program
Haiti 4. Community Disaster Preparedness
Jamaica 3.1.1 Montego Bay Hazard Mapping
3.1.2 Kingston Multi-Hazard Assessment
6. Building Standards and Practices
St. Kitts and Nevis 5.3 School/shelter Vulnerability Reduction in OECS
St. Lucia 3.4.1 Regional Storm Assessment
6. Building Standards and Practices
6.1 Hurricane-resistant Home Improvement Program
Trinidad 3.4.2 Preparedness and Mitigation Training
3.5 Regional Seismic Hazard Information
US Virgin Islands 6. Building Standards and Practices


Project Management and Administration Functions

Project Information Dissemination

The CDMP web site,, was updated during this quarter and a new calendar section, entitled ‘Events and Announcements’ was added. During this quarter, OAS began to use the project web site for project management, with the creation of separate pages for the Kingston Multi-hazard Assessment and the 1998 Technical Advisory Committee Meeting.

Note: Section numbers in the subsequent section refer to those in the CDMP rolling work plan. Numbers skipped in the sequence represent elements for which there was no activity during this quarter.


3.1 Jamaica

3.1.1 Montego Bay Hazard Mapping

CDMP met with representatives of the Jamaican Institute of Engineers (JIE) to develop a plan for development of the final documents for the Montego Bay Hazard Mapping project. CDMP provided the JIE with answers to outstanding questions regarding the modeling and statistical work that was undertaken during 1997. The JIE will develop a draft workplan for the document development.

See the CDMP progress bulletins on the project web site for more information on this activity.

3.1.2 Kingston Multi-Hazard Assessment

CDMP presented a paper at the Caribbean session of the National Hurricane Conference on the subject of "Multi-hazard Mapping, from Concept to Practice." The Kingston multi-hazard assessment was used as a case study for this talk.

Landslide susceptibility. In February, the Unit for Disaster Studies (UWI-Mona) organized a half-day technical workshop to present the results of the landslide susceptibility modeling work for the Kingston multi-hazard assessment. Government representatives, private sector engineers and students attended the workshop, filling the room to capacity. The landslide hazard assessment was conducted following the ‘DeGraff technique’, on the IDRISI GIS package. The landslide factors included in the assessment were slope, aspect, lithology and distance to known faults. Susceptibility maps were produced for both deep and shallow landslides. The Unit for Disaster Studies has received a request for a repeat of this workshop, which will be held in the upcoming quarter. Work on the landslide hazard mitigation manual, a companion document to the susceptibility maps, will be completed in the summer.

Seismic susceptibility. Work on the second and final phase of the KMA seismic susceptibility assessment began during this quarter. An initial meeting of the working group for this project, including representatives of CDMP, USAID, UWI-Mona and the Jamaican Institute of Engineers, met at UWI in February to discuss plans for phase II. A draft workplan was developed and data collection began, with a focus on improving the depth-to-bedrock database. CDMP and seismic hazard consultant Stu Nishenko met with the US National Geodetic Survey to discuss the possibility of using gravity measurements to refine the depth-to-bedrock information.

Coastal storm surge and wind hazard susceptibility. During this quarter, the topographic and bathymetric database to be used in the coastal storm surge and wind hazard assessment was begun, using TAOS base data combined with higher resolution information from the Natural Resources Conservation Authority’s GIS database. Development of this modeling database will be completed early in the upcoming quarter, with modeling work to be completed during the summer.

Multi-hazard database development and mapping. During this quarter, information from the landslide hazard assessment and base data from the seismic hazard assessment were entered into the KMA GIS database.

See the CDMP progress bulletins on the project web site for more information on this activity.

3.2 Belize River Flood Hazard Assessment

The next step in the Belize River flood hazard assessment is field verification of the model database and preliminary model results. This field visit will take place early in the upcoming quarter. Plans for this visit were finalized during this quarter.

See the CDMP progress bulletins on the project web site for more information on this activity.

3.3 Dominica Sea Defense Study

The Government of Dominica requested a change in the scope of work assigned to CDMP, from setting the design standards for the sea-defences to reviewing the detailed design work of the governments consultant. Since it was agreed by all parties that this would speed-up the project, CDMP agreed with this change.

See the CDMP progress bulletins on the project web site for more information on this activity.

3.4 Regional Hurricane Preparedness and Mitigation

3.4.1 Regional Storm Assessment

Development of MEOWs at the Caribbean Meteorological Institute (CMI). During this quarter, CMI completed the majority of the TAOS/L runs required to develop an atlas of Maximum Envelopes of Water (MEOW) maps for the island of Antigua. For this pilot project, the automated MEOW module was run for both fast and slow moving storms, from various expected approach directions, within each Saffir-Simpson hurricane class. The final atlas will most likely contain a map for each forward speed/direction class combination. The Antigua atlas should be completed in the summer. CMI has also developed a draft plan for use of the TAOS/L model during active tropical storm events in the upcoming hurricane season. This plan will cover the information to be produced and methods for distributing this information to affected national meteorological offices. This plan will be finalized prior to the beginning of the 1998 hurricane season.

3.4.2 Preparedness and Mitigation Training

During this quarter, two countries were invited to undertake mitigation planning pilot projects, with support from CDMP. Jamaica also submitted a separate project proposal, a revised version of which was approved. The results of these pilots will be presented at a mitigation planning workshop in the final quarter of 1998. Also during this quarter, the hazard mitigation planning resources page on the CDMP web site was updated.

See the CDMP progress bulletins on the project web site for more information on this activity.

3.5 Regional Seismic Hazard Information

During this quarter, the Seismic Research Unit (SRU) of the University of the West Indies in Trinidad began work on country-level seismic iso-acceleration maps for the Caribbean. As part of this project, the SRU will produce page-size maps showing ground acceleration, ground velocity and Modified Mercali intensities. Individual maps will be produced for the Leeward Islands, Windward Islands and larger isolated islands (such as Jamaica). A companion guide will also be produced for civil engineers on use of this iso-acceleration information in accordance with the seismic design procedures outlined in the different building codes in the region.

4. Community Disaster Preparedness

4.1 Dominican Republic

During this period, the ADMD roster of affiliates has grown to thirty (30), including prestigious firms, associations, schools and UNICEF. Companies on the ADMD Board of Directors assisted in the design of a disaster mitigation portfolio of services the ADMD could promote and operate as an income generator for the NGO’s operational budget.

Training: The ADMD Training Team gave a Course entitled "Contingency Plans for Catastrophic Events", which began March 31 and ran for three evenings. There were 30 participants from companies and various other institutions. The course received a "very good" rating by the majority of the participants. The course generated RD$5,445.65 in income for the ADMD.

Coordination and Communication: Between January 1 and March 31, the ADMD received 114 minutes of donated television time (valued at approximately RD$1,026,000) to promote project activities, the country’s natural hazards and recommend preparatory and mitigation activities. Four press releases during the period announced ADMD activities and over a dozen articles were published regarding the effects of El Niño internationally and in the Dominican Republic. In January, February and March, heavy rains caused severe flooding and partial dam failure in the northern region. A total of 11 meetings were held with heads of businesses, community and government organizations to raise awareness about the ADMD purpose and activities as well as to garner support, obtain information and establish contacts to facilitate ADMD activities.

A total of 69 formal presentations were given by ADMD members to nearly 5,000 people representing businesses, schools, and communities nationwide to reinforce hazard awareness. Due to the demand, the ADMD can now focus on training facilitators within schools and communities so that the school presentation regarding natural hazards and mitigation can be carried forward by their own staff.

Community Education: During this period, the ADMD continued an active education campaign, surpassing the goal established for the period by co-financing sixty eight (68) Community Disaster Preparedness Workshops in high risk communities. A total of 2,040 adults attended these workshops.

Information: The eighth Informative Bulletin, covering project activities from December 1997 through February 1998, was sent by fax/modem to approximately 2,000 businesses and organizations. In addition, it was sent by e-mail to central and South America, the U.S. and Europe and was well received. This issue was also promoted ADMD’s training agenda for the private and NGO sectors. The ADMD’s brochures describing what to do before, during and after both hurricanes and earthquakes are distributed during the community workshops and during presentations to businesses, schools, and other groups.

Community Initiatives: In January, the ADMD received written reports that all the community initiatives had responded well to the heavy rains received that month and commented on how happy the communities were with the performance of their projects. The CDMP Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Ms. Jean Parker, and the external auditor were taken to eleven community initiative sites so each could obtain needed data and verify various points regarding the implementation of the projects. During the period, 2 proposals for community initiatives were reviewed by the community initiatives team. Both of these proposals were approved and initiated. The projects are:

On March 19 and 31 the following projects were inaugurated:

See the CDMP progress bulletins on the project web site for more information on this activity.

4.2 Haiti

In January 1998, CDMP Haiti organized a three-day disaster response training exercise for members of the Jeremie disaster committee and local NGOs. Also during this quarter, the CDMP national project coordinator and the OAS Director made arrangements with Plan International and the UN Mission for a training workshop on disaster management for fifty policemen in the Southeast Police Department. The training is scheduled for the second quarter. A Memorandum of Agreement was established with a local NGO in Jacmel (Union du Bloc Raquette pour le Développement, UBRD) to serve as secretariat for the Jacmel Disaster Committee for a period of 2 years. CDMP will support the NGO with $5,000 in much needed equipment. As part of the CDMP/OFDA collaboration in training, budgets and agendas were prepared for the TFI and IDM courses to be held in the second quarter, and arrangements were made with the American University in Les Cayes to host the courses. Finally, the national coordinator and OAS director met with the regional representative of the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO) and prepared a proposal for funding of disaster preparedness and prevention activities that would complement and extend the work of CDMP in Haiti.

See the CDMP progress bulletins on the project web site for more information on this activity.

5. Lifeline Loss Reduction

5.2 Caribbean Hotel Association Manual

Work on a structural mitigation chapter to be added to the Caribbean Hotel Association’s draft Hurricane Procedures Manual was begun during this quarter. This work will be finalized early in the next quarter, with the full manual scheduled to be printed prior to CHA’s annual conference in June.

5.3 School/shelter Vulnerability Reduction in OECS

During this quarter, the work on the Eastern Caribbean school/shelter vulnerability audits, jointly sponsored by CDMP and the OAS’ Natural Hazards Project (NHP), advanced. During this quarter, workshops were conducted with the education sector in Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis and Dominica, to assist with the development hazard vulnerability reduction plans for the sector. These plans are to be completed in the coming quarter. The vulnerability audits have been completed for Antigua & Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis. Planning for a fall workshop on hazard reduction for public works engineers began during this quarter.

See the CDMP progress bulletins on the project web site for more information on this activity.

6. Building Standards and Practices

The CDMP study of four major projects in the region that failed due to the effects of natural hazards neared completion during this quarter. These projects reviewed in this study include the Dominica Port, bridges in St. Lucia, University buildings in Jamaica and a hotel in the US Virgin Islands. The study will be completed in the next quarter, with the final products including a design manual for engineers on the incorporation of hazard information into project design and a white paper on the costs and benefits of hazard mitigation. Preliminary results from the Dominica and Jamaica reviews were used as the basis for a paper entitled "Costs and Benefits of Hazard Mitigation for Building and Infrastructure Development: A Case Study in Small Island Developing States." This paper will be presented at the International Emergency Management Society’s conference in Washington DC in May.

See the CDMP progress bulletins on the project web site for more information on this activity.

6.1 Hurricane-resistant Home Improvement Program

St. Lucia

To address arrears in loan re-payments, CARITAS placed a temporary hold on processing and disbursing additional loans. A series of visits to borrowers’ homes have considerably reduced these arrears. These home visits for loan payment collection will continue during the first part of the coming quarter. NRDF began a series of "in-community" training programs for home upgrading with hurricane retrofitting during this quarter.

During this quarter, CARITAS completed reconstruction of all loan files damaged during last fall’s fire.


During this quarter, loans continued to be processed from a variety of locations, indicating the continued value of the radio and newspaper hurricane resistance awareness activities. Five new loan applications, valued at EC$62,821, were processed, with one new loan, EC$7,000, approved and disbursed during this quarter. The portfolio of retrofit loans showed excellent performance with an arrears rate of under 0.6%.

Antigua and Barbuda

A loan package for 21 loans is awaiting funding approval and loan disbursement by CHF.


In the fall of 1997, the Grenada National Development Bank submitted a proposal to CDMP for the establishment of a Hurricane-resistant Home Improvement Program in the country. The Caribbean Development Bank, however, overruled the use of its funds as loan capital for below-median income families, thereby stalling the plan to use CHF funds as seed capital to leverage CDB funds through the Grenada Development Bank. Further discussions are necessary with the Caribbean Development Bank.

Work with Credit Unions

CDMP began work with two credit unions in Jamaica to determine how to best incorporate hurricane-resistant home building and improvement techniques into existing credit lending procedures. During this quarter, lending procedures of the selected institutions were reviewed, in preparation for training sessions to be developed and presented in the next quarter.

See the CDMP progress bulletins on the project web site for more information on this activity.

6.2 Building Code Administration

No activity during this quarter.

See the CDMP progress bulletins on the project web site for more information on this activity.

7. Insurance Risk Management

No activity during this quarter.

8. Dominica Geographic Information System/Environmental Planning Project

Work on the GIS-EP was delayed during this quarter due to the landslides in the Layou River (see section 9 below). A GIS workshop on road alignment in landslide-prone areas, to be conducted by Dr. Cassandra Rogers, was planned for January, but delayed until the coming quarter when her visit was refocused on landslide assessment and response.

See the CDMP progress bulletins on the project web site for more information on this activity.

9. Post-disaster Mission

In January, the Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project (CDMP) sponsored a technical team in Dominica to assist the Government in responding to the risk of flooding in the Layou River valley caused by several landslide dams in an upstream tributary. The team consists of Dr. Cassandra Rogers, a landslide expert from the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Trinidad, Dr. David Lang, a landslide expert resident in Dominica and other local experts. During Dr. Rogers’ two-week visit, the team assessed proposed emergency vulnerability reduction measures and developed a detailed plan of action for flood vulnerability assessment and mitigation. CDMP support to the Government of Dominica is being coordinated with the Government's Layou River task force.

During February, the water impoundment behind the landslide dam on the Mathieu River stabilized. Water that accumulated behind the dam seeped into the soil and under the dam with no visible deterioration of the dam itself. The level of the lake dropped gradually over the month of March. To assist with continuous monitoring of landslide activity and movement of the landslide dam, the CDMP contracted the UWI Seismic Research Unit to install a seismometer at foot of slide. The local officials assigned to monitor the dam have been equipped with handheld radios so that sudden movements of dam material or any seismic activity can be detected. A drum seismograph is being installed in the Layou village Police station, with radio link to the seismometer, for additional monitoring of the situation.

A more detailed analysis of the flood hazard posed by a landslide dam break has begun with the digitization of detailed contour information for the lower Layou River. A Geographic Information System (GIS) model is being prepared to serve as a basis for analyzing possible dam failure and lower Layou river flooding scenarios.

Dr. Rogers will make a follow-up visit to Dominica early in the coming quarter to review the status of the dam and progress on the emergency vulnerability reduction measures.

CDMP home page: Project Contacts Page Last Updated: 20 April 2001