The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are at risk from hurricanes, earthquakes, flash floods and periods of drought.
Recent hurricanes which have affected the island were Hugo in 1989, Luis and Marilyn in 1995, Georges in 1998 and Jose and Lenny in 1999. Hugo did not impact the islands directly but nevertheless left significant damage. Hurricane Luis was far more destructive and damaged 46 out of 71 schools. Georges left two people dead and damaged approximately 1700 homes, leaving more than 3000 people homeless. José once again brought destruction to the islands, killing one person and leaving 500 people homeless.
The most recent earthquake to hit Antigua was in 1974. No major floods have yet occurred on the islands, yet interference with natural water courses has caused flash floods. Periods of drought occur regularly, the most serious being those of 1995 and 1983-1984 during which the country’s agricultural sector encountered great losses and water had to be imported from Dominica. There are no known volcanoes on the islands, yet they lie in close proximity to Guadeloupe, Dominica and Montserrat. Ash from Montserrat’s active Soufriere Hill Volcano has reached the islands on at least one occasion.
The National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) was established as a state-run agency of the government with responsibility to reduce the vulnerability of natural and technological hazards in the twin island state, through multi-sector and integrated hazard risk reduction management. (NODS) through its operations seeks at all times to save life and protect property in Antigua and Barbuda.
Regional Office of the World Health Organization