UN ‘prioritizing needs’, ramping up aid, as Hurricane Dorian continues to batter the Bahamas

windy.com A graphic visualization of Hurricane Dorian over the Bahamas.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Renewed warnings of deadly destruction in the Bahamas caused by Hurricane Dorian have been issued by UN agencies and partners, who said on Tuesday that they’re worried “for every single” person on two of the worst-hit Caribbean islands.

Briefing journalists in Geneva, Jens Laerke from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that initial assessments from Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands – where the storm made landfall and is effectively stationary as of Tuesday morning, local time – were “rather catastrophic”.

He added: “As we heard, it made landfall in the Abaco Islands; the population there is a little more than 17,000 people, we are concerned for all of them. It is now over the Grand Bahama, the population there is about 51,000 people and we are concerned for every one of them. The Prime Minister of the Bahamas has said already that five individuals have been confirmed killed as a result of this hurricane.”

Initially classified as a Category 5 hurricane at the weekend when it hit the Bahamas’ north-west with wind gusts of over 320 kilometres per hour, Dorian has now been downgraded two notches.

But it still has the potential to be deadly, regardless of its rating, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

“It was the strongest on record to make landfall in the Bahamas,” said WMO spokesperson Clare Nullis. “At its peak it had maximum sustained winds of 270 kilometres an hour, which is absolutely huge, with gusts of up to 321 kilometres an hour. It’s life-threatening it’s devastating, it’s now weakened to the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane. The winds are still devastating, the storm surge is still life-threatening and the rainfall is still torrential.”

Confirming the widespread damage from the high winds and amid reports of storm surges between five and seven metres high, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said that more than 13,000 houses had been severely damaged or destroyed – about 45 per cent of all homes on the two islands.

“In terms of needs, we believe that Abaco Island has the most vulnerable population,” said IFRC spokesperson Matthew Cochrane. “There’s a large Haitian community on the island, who will need, we believe, a significant amount of assistance to recover from and rebuild after this storm. We also understand that about 62,000 people across the two islands will need access to clean drinking water.”

Thousands will need food support

Initial assessments carried out by the World Food Programme (WFP) with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and other humanitarian partners, indicate that Abaco will likely require food for more than 14,000 people and Grand Bahama for over 47,000 people.

With a handful of specialized staff on the ground to provide support in food security, emergency telecommunications and logistics, WFP spokesperson Hervé Verhoosel said that they would support the Government of the Bahamas in “rapidly assessing the damage from the hurricane and in prioritizing needs” over the next three days.

Meanwhile, in response to the “unprecedented storm”, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, expressed her condolences to the people of the Bahamas.

“This is the fourth consecutive year that we have witnessed an extremely devastating Atlantic hurricane season including Category 5 hurricanes like Dorian”, said spokesperson Denis McClean from the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), reading from a statement.

“The sequence cannot be divorced from fact that these last five years have been the hottest ever recorded because of the continuing rise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

Storm shows ‘existential threat’ facing small island States

Ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York beginning on 23 September, Mr. McClean insisted that Hurricane Dorian “crystallises the existential threat posed to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) by the ongoing climate emergency.

This is an enormous humanitarian and development challenge for the Bahamas. Within the past few years, the Bahamas has been seriously affected by at least three major hurricanes, all Category 4 storms or above. The impact of hurricanes Joaquin, Matthew and Irma on the Bahamas has been reported to have cost approximately $820 million”, he said.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Migration surge leaves children stranded, begging on Djibouti’s streets

China is the first non-EU country to invest in Europe’s €315 billion Plan

Access to healthcare: what do we lack?

Commission approves emergency measures to protect eastern Baltic cod

Scale of displacement across Myanmar ‘very difficult to gauge’, says UN refugee agency

Climate change is a disruptor. Here’s how to harness it for innovation

What the G7 wants to do in eastern Ukraine

Afghanistan extends ceasefire with Taliban; UN urges both sides to work towards lasting peace

Why do US presidential elections last so long? And 4 other things you need to know

Why press freedom should be at the top of everyone’s agenda

How the Middle East is suffering on the front lines of climate change

UN working ‘intensively’ to stop Ebola in eastern DR Congo, following second case in major border town

Syria: ‘Deplorable’ violence in Idlib against civilians, humanitarian workers must ‘stop immediately’: UN Coordinator

UN cultural agency removes birthplace of Jesus from its list of heritage sites in danger

We must treat cybersecurity as a public good. Here’s why

Countering illegal hate speech online – EU Code of Conduct ensures swift response

What India’s route to universal health coverage can teach the world

Have Europe’s Ukrainian wounds begun to heal?

UN announces roadmap to Climate Summit in 2019, a ‘critical year’ for climate action

UN chief ‘commends’ leadership of Greece and former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as name dispute draws to final close

Guterres expresses ‘grave concern’ following explosion at large political rally for reform-minded Ethiopian Prime Minister

To beat hunger and combat climate change, world must ‘scale-up’ soil health – UN

Companies that put employees first perform better

Parliament wants to suspend EU accession negotiations with Turkey

We should look to nature for solutions to the global water crisis. Here’s why

In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities

Countries violate rights over climate change, argue youth activists in landmark UN complaint

The European Parliament launches a website on European election results

Recognize, celebrate and ‘stand in solidarity’ with persons with albinism

Will Eurozone be able to repay its debts? Is a bubble forming there?

Data Protection Regulation one year on: 73% of Europeans have heard of at least one of their rights

Is it just visa-free travel that Erdogan demands from the EU to not break the migration deal?

These countries have the most powerful passports

Youth policy in Europe not delivering for young people

Kazakhstan continues to push for a nuclear-free world

“Smoking steam instead of tobacco, are the E-cigarettes a safer alternative?”

Health privatization to blame for health inequality or poor investment in public health?

Big impact vs big exit: the social side of the start-up game presented at the WSA Global Congress in Vienna

Europe must remember its past to build its future

Will the Greek economy ever come back to growth?

EP leaders call for negotiations on upgraded Transparency Register to continue

The West and Russia accomplished the dismembering and the economic destruction of Ukraine

Reform of road use charges to spur cleaner transport and ensure fairness

This company grows crops inside, stacked on top of one another

China’s stock markets show recovery signs while EU is closely watching in anticipation of the €10bn investment

Business could learn plenty about cybersecurity from the secret state

Contact the Sting

Parliament votes for €1 billion in aid to Ukraine

Hungary has made progress on greening its economy and now needs to raise its ambitions

Industrial products: Lifting the last impediments in the EU single market

Greece bailout programme: Full agreement after marathon negotiations on debt relief between IMF and Eurozone

Towards a European Republic

COP21 Paris agreement: a non legally-binding climate pact won’t stop effectively global warming while EU’s Cañete throws hardest part to next Commission

EDRi @ European Business Summit 2014: Digital Citizenship in Brussels – the case of Net Neutrality

Empathic AI could be the next stage in human evolution – if we get it right

International Women’s Day 2019: women’s power in politics

New study shows close link between GVCs participation and economic development

7 ways to break the fast fashion habit – and save the planet

Let your fingers do the walking

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s