The Caribbean GIS Community and its Response to Disasters. Lessons Learnt from MapAction LAC

Desmond Dougall, Vijay Datadin, Sudesh Botha, Alan Mills, Darren Kowlessar, 4th Caribbean GIS Conference, 2008

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The Caribbean Region, particularly the insular Caribbean, has a widely dispersed and economically vulnerable population. The Region is routinely buffeted by hurricanes and Global Warming is expected to intensify this risk. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes that “Caribbean islands have experienced an increase in temperature exceeding 0.5°C since 1900” and projects that the Caribbean Sea will experience a rise in temperature of “1-2 degrees Celsius”.1 In 2007 the countries around the Caribbean Sea experienced fifteen tropical storms (Andrea – Olga), six of which became hurricanes, of which two (Dean and Felix) made landfall as Category 5 hurricanes – the first time two Category 5 hurricanes have done so in a single season2. Aside from hurricanes the region has to consider volcanoes (e.g. Montserrat and ten other islands in the Lesser Antilles3), landslides, floods and even tsunamis as threats from natural disasters. In November 2007, severe floods followed tropical storm Noel in the Dominican Republic and similarly affected Mexico, and in January 2008 Bolivia was affected by severe flooding4.

Reference Type: Conference Proceedings
Conference Location: Grand Cayman
Publisher: URISA
Date: 25-29 August 2008
Author Information: Caribbean GIS, Georgetown NIL, Guyana
Availability: View Paper [PDF]