30/10/2012 - In the United States, millions of people awoke on Tuesday to witness the trail of damage left behind by Hurricane Sandy, one of the biggest storms to ever hit the country: homes destroyed and underwater, trees toppled, power lines downed, etc. Six Caribbean nations had already faced deadly Hurricane Sandy before it made landfall in the coast of New Jersey, United States, during the night of 30 October.
Hurricane Sandy ripped its way northwards in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas. Hardest hit is Haiti, although not directly in the path of Hurricane Sandy. Haiti suffered from heavy rainfall and flooding which engulfed in mudslides homes and buildings. Cuba is also suffering from extensive damages, especially the second-largest town in Cuba, Santiago. Coffee crop was badly hit right at the time at the peak of the harvest season. Fatalities and damages were also reported in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the Bahamas.
The EU Monitoring and Information Centre continues to follow closely the evolution of the hurricane together with the European Commission's humanitarian experts on the ground. Our experts participate in the assessment of the situation and identify potential needs for assistance, such as emergency shelter, food assistance in case of food shortage due to crop failure but also clean water and emergency sanitation to avoid water-borne disease, such as cholera. To mitigate the impact of other natural disasters, the European Commission will also continue to support disaster prevention, early warning system and risk reduction projects in vulnerable Caribbean countries and other disaster-prone regions.
For updates on the situation follow our daily Flash.