Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis, is urging Bahamians to remain vigilant, to be prepared, and to monitor the track of Hurricane Maria.
In the face of a “very active hurricane season” that has spawned major storms, including Hurricane Maria which severely damaged the island of Dominica, the Prime Minister made the call in an address to the nation on Tuesday. He said Hurricane Maria is forecast to pass to the east of south-east Bahamas on Friday morning as a major Category 3 or 4.
Listen to the Prime Minister Statement on Hurricane Maria:
CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell of Grenada and Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque on Wednesday completed a tour of hurricane devastated islands and have indicated that arrangements are being made to convene an international Donors Conference to mobilise the ‘significant resources’ required for the recovery effort.
The touring CARICOM Delegation included Mr. Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), which is the CARICOM Institution coordinating the regional hurricane disaster response; and Captain Errington Shurland, Executive Director of the Regional Security System (RSS).
Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Mr. Gaston Browne joined the Delegation for the tour of Barbuda where Government’s assessment shows more than 90 percent of the buildings on the island were destroyed. Prime Minister Browne confirmed that all Barbuda residents have been relocated to sister island Antigua, with just a contingent of military personnel remaining to provide security.
“I’m very grateful for the visit by the CARICOM Chairman, Secretary-General and other members of the delegation. It shows we have other Caribbean brothers and sisters who are standing in solidarity with us,” Prime Minister Browne said after taking the delegation on a walk-though Barbuda’s devastated capital, Codrington.
“Clearly, this is a very difficult time for Antigua and Barbuda and we are very appreciative of the support and, certainly, all of the pledges that will be made,” he added.
In the British Virgin Island, where the delegation toured affected communities and met with Premier Dr Orlando Smith and Government and Disaster Management officials, the focus is on meeting critical immediate needs such as water and food supplies and restoring access to electricity and telecommunications, while simultaneously working on arrangements for getting students back into schools and getting critical sectors of the economy such as tourism and financial services back up to speed. Premier Smith noted that the Government headquarters building is among the those destroyed and his office has had to be re-located to the main hospital building.
Anguilla’s Chief Minister Mr. Victor Banks, who joined the CARICOM Delegation on the tour of his island where the main hospital, schools and 90 percent of the homes were damaged, said he is also working to address the pressing need for food, water, building supplies and electricity and confronting any challenges to the critical tourism sector. (more…)
Relief efforts for the countries affected by Hurricane Irma in the eastern Caribbean have been stepped up following the passage of Hurricane Jose out of the area.
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency’s (CDEMA) advance team, is operating out of its staging post in Antigua, which was largely unaffected by the hurricanes.
The advance team, consisting of the CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU), Rapid Needs Assessment Team (RNAT), CARICOM Operational Support Team (COST), and the CARICOM Disaster Assessment Coordination team, have been deployed to the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla, having been into Barbuda late last week. Barbuda, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands suffered serious damage by Hurricane Irma. CDEMA’s Rapid Assessment team, from its staging post in Jamaica, is scheduled to arrive in the Turks and Caicos Islands later today, Sunday 10 September. The Agency has also been in contact with Haiti which has also suffered damage during the passage of Hurricane Irma.
Latest information from the Governor of the British Virgin Islands indicates that five people have been confirmed dead. Barbuda, Anguilla and Haiti each suffered one fatality. Eleven deaths have also been reported in the French territories of St Barthelemy and St Martin as well as the Dutch territory of Sint Maarten.