Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, October 7, 2016. The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has sent a team to the Bahamas to carry out rapid needs assessment following the passage of Hurricane Matthew. CARPHA is part of the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) which is spearheaded by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). The islands of the Bahamas suffered severe impact from Hurricane Matthew on Thursday afternoon, forcing residents to flee their homes, damaging structures, and downing power lines and trees. CARPHA’s team will add its expertise to the water, sanitation and hygiene component of the evaluation. This includes assessing Bahamas’ health facilities and water infrastructure. The team will also review the country’s water and environmental health conditions, and provide recommendations and considerations to inform response efforts. In 2015, CARPHA also carried out damage assessment on the Bahamian islands of Long Island, Acklins, and Crooked Island where extensive damage was reported following Hurricane Joaquin. The hurricane made landfall in the South Eastern islands as a Category 4 storm. Under its Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA), CARPHA is mandated to respond to emergencies in the Region including pandemics, hurricanes, earthquakes and flooding.