WMO retires Maria, Irma, Harvey as hurricane names

The World Meteorological Organisation’s Hurricane Committee is meeting in Martinique, France, from 9 to 13 April to review the devastating 2017 Atlantic hurricane season and to discuss regional coordination and operational planning to protect lives and property in the forthcoming one.

The Hurricane Committee retired the names Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate from its list of rotating names. They will be replaced by Harold, Idalia, Margot and Nigel.

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WMO Hurricane Committee reviews devastating 2017 season

The World Meteorological Organization’s Hurricane Committee meets from 9 to 13 April to review the devastating 2017 Atlantic hurricane season and to discuss regional coordination and operational planning to protect lives and property in the forthcoming one.

The extremely active 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was one of the most destructive on record. Damage costs exceeded 250 billion dollars in the United States alone, whilst recovery for the worst hit Caribbean islands such as Dominica may take years. Several hundred people died, and the lives of millions were impacted.

Accurate forecasts and warnings about wind, storm surge and flooding hazards and coordination between meteorological services and disaster management helped prevent the casualty toll from being even higher. Longstanding cooperation within WMO’s Regional Association for North America, Central America and the Caribbean (RAIV) meant that sophisticated forecast products and impact assessments were available to the whole region.

For the first time on record, three category 4 hurricanes made landfall in the U.S. (Harvey, Irma and Maria), and six category 5 landfalls occurred across the Caribbean basin from Irma and Maria.

Read more at: World Meteorological Office

Caribbean felt full brunt of climate change in 2017

Dominica hurricane

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados,  CMC – In 2017, the Caribbean felt the full brunt of climate change with a warning that current trends indicate that there will be no respite.

Within a two-week period, Hurricanes Irma and Maria brought home the reality of the impact of climate change as they churned their way across the Lesser Antilles destroying everything in their paths. Hurricane Harvey had in August set the stage for what was to come; with devastation in Houston, Texas, amounting to nearly US$200billion.

“The unprecedented nature of this climatic event highlights the unusual nature of weather patterns that continue to affect nations across the globe,” the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Irwin LaRocque said in a message to United States President Donald Trump, as Harvey made landfall in the United States after whipping up strong winds and heavy rains in the Caribbean.

It took less than a month for his statement to bear fruit. Hurricanes Irma and Maria, two Category 5 storms left so many Caribbean islands devastated in September that the CARICOM Chairman and Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said “there can be no question that for us in the Caribbean, climate change is an existential threat”. (more…)

All hands needed on deck for post-hurricane recovery – WB Meeting hears

Statement on High Level Meeting on Recovery and Resilience in the Caribbean

The participants highlighted the need for a response involving all partners, including regional organizations, development partners, private sector, national Governments and civil society, to leverage comparative advantages for building resilience to disasters in highly vulnerable small-island states, as extreme weather events have added to their existing economic vulnerabilities. The contribution of the private sector will also be critical, offering both resources and expertise.
Washington, October 13th, 2017– Leaders and representatives of CARICOM countries and territories, and international partners, including the international financial institutions, and the representatives of territories in the region, convened (Friday) in a high-level round table on recovery and resilience in the Caribbean hosted by the World Bank Group (WBG), as part of the WBG-IMF Annual Meetings.

During the discussion, participants examined the impact of and recovery from the destructive hurricanes that struck the Caribbean in September, reviewed the instruments available for disaster risk management and response, and considered the need to innovate further in order to address the long-term challenges and strengthen resilience of affected islands.

Participants expressed solidarity and support to the affected islands and communities, and reaffirmed their commitment to working together to build back better and in a more resilient way, following the devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria. They highlighted the need to ensure active engagement of communities, especially women, in the recovery and reconstruction process, as well as the importance of putting in place building standards that will mitigate the impact of future extreme weather events. The participants also noted the importance of making progress on the World Bank’s Small States Roadmap which proposes various initiatives to promote resilience of small states. (more…)

UK government to set up task force to build back hurricane hit countries

UK aid being delivered in Dominica after hurricane Maria. Picture: Pav Dhande/DFID
UK aid being delivered in Dominica after hurricane Maria. Picture: Pav Dhande/DFID

The UK government is to set up a private sector Task Force to help long-term reconstruction in countries and territories hit by last month’s Caribbean hurricanes, International Development Secretary Priti Patel will announce today (Friday, October 13).

It will mobilise private sector support to rebuild critical infrastructure such as roads and power supplies essential to get economies up and running again, and better withstand future natural disasters.

The team of top business leaders, either CEOs or Chairs with experience in the Caribbean, will sit on the Task Force.

Ms Patel will announce the Task Force at a meeting to discuss the response to the hurricanes and how to enhance global crisis preparedness and response, hosted by the World Bank in Washington D.C.

Read more at: United Kingdom Government