Operation FLUTE

International Information

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Mission Mandate: To assist in the restoration of critical infrastructure on Antigua and Barbuda after a hurricane.

Region Name: Central America

Location: Antigua and Barbuda

Mission Date: 8 September 1995 - 8 October 1995

Canadian Forces (CF) Information (FLUTE)

Name: Operation FLUTE

CF Mission/Operation Notes: On 5 September 1995, hurricane Luis passed directly over Barbuda while the island of Antigua was hit by the eyewall of the storm. As a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 200 km/h, Luis caused severe damage to Antigua. Electrical power and water supplies were severed. Luckily, because of adequate warning and disaster management planning, only three people died in Antigua and Barbuda, but the number of people left homeless exceeded 3,000.

On 8 September, a CIDA team, including one CF officer visited Antigua and called for CF support in coordinating the efforts to restore power and water. A team of six military engineers was dispatched to the island on 18 September.

The “CF Det to the Antigua-Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF) TSU”, as the Canadian team was known, met with ABDF members on 19 September. They quickly conducted a tour of the island to survey the extent of the damage. The team then began to assist in coordinating incoming relief supplies with priority taskings. The reports sent back to Canada also provided a useful guide as to what equipment and supplies Canada could provide.

Members of the TSU also made a trip to Barbuda on a Coast Guard cutter on 25 September. With its smaller population and size, the inspection and assessment of damage took less time. 

By 5 October, the work of the TSU had been completed. The decision to return to Canada was made in consultation with CIDA and the High Commission staff. On 8 October the six TSU members departed Antigua for Toronto.

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