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Hurricane Dorian Triggers Massive Insurance Payout for The Bahamas

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NASSAU, The Bahamas, Tuesday September 10, 2019 – The Bahamas will get almost US$11 million from the region’s catastrophe risk insurance fund following the passage of Hurricane Dorian that caused widespread devastation in the northern part of the 700-island archipelago.

CCRIF says the government will receive $10,936,103.

The Bahamas has three tropical cyclone policies with CCRIF, each one covering a section or zone of the archipelago – North West, South East and Central. It is the tropical cyclone policy for the North West Zone – which includes the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama – that was triggered. Dorian made landfall in the north of the archipelago – the Abaco Islands on September 1 and battered Grand Bahama for two days.

CCRIF’s payouts are made within 14 days of an event, but in this case CCRIF made an advance payment today of 50 per cent of the payout to allow the Government to begin to address its most pressing needs – with the remaining 50 per cent to be paid within the 14-day window for all CCRIF payouts.

CCRIF CEO Isaac Anthony contacted the Government of The Bahamas to inform of the payout and to express the Facility’s own commiseration for the many lives lost and to pledge support to the Government as it seeks to recover and rebuild not just infrastructure but also lives.

In acknowledging the destruction and damage wrought on the northern islands of The Bahamas, he expressed some relief that Dorian spared most of the other islands.

This additional support that could be provided by CCRIF to the Government of The Bahamas will come from the Facility’s corporate social responsibility or technical assistance (TA) programme.

Over the years, CCRIF has provided resources from its TA Programme to governments to support specific projects after a natural disaster. In fact, The Bahamas was the recipient in 2012 of a TA grant of US$85,000 following the passage of Hurricane Sandy for the construction of a new sea wall at Sandyport Beach. Similar sized grants have been provided over the years, to Jamaica (US$100,000 for the rehabilitation of the Muirton Boys Home following Hurricane Sandy in 2012) and Dominica (US$100,000 for the construction of new fencing at the Douglas-Charles Airport, which was damaged by Tropical Storm Erika in 2016) among others. The CCRIF Board and Management will decide on possible TA support to The Bahamas in collaboration with the Government in the coming weeks.

“Member governments are appreciative of this rapid infusion of quick liquidity through CCRIF payouts from its parametric insurance policies, which they are able to use to address immediate priorities and to support the most vulnerable in their population,” Anthony said.

“CCRIF, through the parametric insurance products that it provides, is an example of a disaster risk financing tool that is most applicable for high impact low frequency events; and the instrument is designed to allow member governments to reduce their budget volatility and to provide some amount of financial resources for emergency relief such as restoring critical infrastructure and providing assistance to the affected population, thereby assisting to reduce post-disaster resource deficits.”

CCRIF said the rapid payouts are possible because the insurance policies that CCRIF sells are parametric as opposed to indemnity insurance otherwise referred to as traditional insurance. Parametric insurance products are insurance contracts that make payments based on the intensity of an event (for example, hurricane wind speed, earthquake intensity, volume of rainfall) and the amount of loss calculated in a pre-agreed model caused by these events. Therefore, payouts can be made very quickly after a hazard event, making CCRIF’s parametric insurance different from traditional/indemnity insurance that require an on-the-ground assessment of individual losses after an event before a payment can be made – which can take months for a claim to be settled.

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Hurricane Humberto Getting Stronger as it Nears Bermuda

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HAMILTON, Bermuda, Wednesday September 18,
2019
– Hurricane force winds are expected
to reach Bermuda this evening, as a larger and stronger Humberto moves
closer to the island.

The impending hurricane, at Category 3
strength with maximum sustained winds now near 120 miles per hour, has forced
the closure of government offices and schools and cancellation of evening
flights at the airport.

In its 11 a.m. advisory, the National
Hurricane Centre (NHC) said Hurricane Humberto was located 195 miles west of
the island, and was moving towards the east northeast at 16 miles per hour.

It is expected to remain a major
hurricane through early tomorrow. And the core of Jerry is expected to pass
just to the northwest and north of the island tonight. The Bermuda Weather
Service has forecast that its closest point to the island will be 101 miles to
the northwest at 8 p.m.

“Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during
the next day or so, but Humberto should remain a powerful hurricane through
early Thursday while it passes close to Bermuda.  A steady weakening trend should begin later
on Thursday,” the NHC said.

Humberto is a large hurricane and continues to grow
in size. Hurricane-force winds now extend outward up to 105 miles from the centre
and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles based on reports
from a Hurricane Hunter aircraft.

The NHC said a prolonged period of dangerous winds
is expected on Bermuda from late this afternoon through tomorrow morning, with
hurricane-force winds expected overnight tonight.

It added that storm surge and dangerous breaking waves could cause coastal flooding tonight and tomorrow along the southern coast of Bermuda.

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Eastern Caribbean Embarks on Strategy Towards a Blue-Green Economy

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The Caribbean green-blue economy strategy and action plan will make the most of the sub- region’s strengths, harnessing these to create economies that are environmentally friendly and at the same time more socially equitable. (Photo Credit: Elizabeth Eames Roebling/IPS)

In this Voices from the Global South podcast, IPS takes you to the Caribbean where correspondent Jewel Fraser learns how micro, small and medium enterprises hold the key for building economies that are resilient to the impacts of climate change.

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Tropical Storm Jerry Forms East of the Leeward Islands

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FLORIDA, United States, Wednesday September
18, 2019
– Tropical
Storm Jerry formed this morning, becoming the 10th named storm of
the Atlantic hurricane season. And by the time it’s near the Leeward Islands in
the next day or two, it’s expected to have strengthened into a hurricane.

The National
Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami reported in its first advisory on Tropical
Storm Jerry at 5 a.m., that it was located about 960 miles east of the Leeward
Islands and moving towards the west northwest at 13 miles per hour.

Maximum
sustained winds were at 45 miles per hour, and additional strengthening is forecast
during the next couple of days. A west-northwestward motion at a slightly
faster forward speed is expected over the next few days. 

“On the
forecast track, the system will be near the northern Leeward Islands Thursday
night or Friday…. Jerry is expected to become a hurricane by the time it moves
near the northern Leeward Islands,” the NHC said.

It added
that although it is too soon to determine if there will be any direct impacts
on the islands, interests in the northern Leeward Islands should monitor the progress
of this system and have their hurricane plans in place.

Apart from Hurricane Humberto which is expected to pass just to the northwest and north of Bermuda tonight, there are two other areas of interest in the Atlantic.

A tropical
wave located several hundred miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands is producing
disorganized cloudiness and showers. Some development of that system is possible
over the weekend while the system approaches the Windward Islands or across the
southeastern Caribbean Sea early next week.

A tropical wave is also forecast to move off of the west coast of Africa tomorrow.  Development, if any, is expected to be slow to occur through early next week while the system moves generally westward at 10 to 15 miles per hour.

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