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

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

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

9 climate tipping points pushing Earth to the point of no return

Aviation Safety: Commission adopts new EU Air Safety List

GSMA announces new keynote speakers for 2018 Mobile World Congress

Boom in Artificial Intelligence patents, points to ‘quantum leap’ in tech: UN report

‘Urgent need’ to stop Mali violence with ‘effective’ military response: UN expert

Commission publishes the first report on the issuance of a Eurobond

EU unveils plan to accelerate Capital Markets Union ahead of London’s departure from the bloc

Election 2019: New, Updated seat projection for new Parliament

Here’s how the EU is doing on gender equality

UN spotlights wellbeing of seafarers on International Day

Burning Amazon rainforests: Darting towards the doom of Human Race

UN agency warns conditions around Yemen’s key port city of Hudaydah still ‘very bad’, as staff rush to deliver aid

Can North Korea and the U.S. strike a nuclear deal?

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for decisive action on security priorities

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “It is the implementation, Stupid!”, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble points the finger to Greece from Davos

The power of partnership: joining forces to fight financial crime

A question of trust: the UN political chief working behind the scenes to prevent tomorrow’s wars

UN experts warn Assange arrest exposes him to risk of serious human rights violations

Human rights breaches in Guinea Conakry and Madagascar

UN rights experts call on Russia to release Ukrainian film-maker whose life is in ‘imminent danger’

Human rights ‘core to sustainable development’: deputy UN chief

Brexit: No deal without marginalizing the hard Tory Eurosceptic MPs

These scientists are using sound waves to filter plastic fibres from washing machine wastewater

UN chief and senior officials show solidarity with DR Congo during three-day visit

How a possible EU budget deficit affects the migration crisis

How curiosity and globalization are driving a new approach to travel

The UK is on a record-breaking run of coal-free power

How smarter machines can make us smarter humans

European Youth Forum on Summit on Jobs and Growth

Here are 3 alternative visions for the future of work

Lithuania needs to get rid of the victim mentality

The refugee crisis seen through the eyes of a young doctor from Turkey

Hostages to a rampant banking system

These countries are all building brand-new cities

Could robot leaders do better than our current politicians?

Coronavirus containment is the key, as infections tick up: Tedros

A biodiversity scientist explains the problem with our neat lawns

Parliament and Council agree drastic cuts to plastic pollution of environment

Venezuela: MEPs demand free presidential elections and an end to repression

Make this the year of ‘transformative solutions’ to avert disastrous climate change: UN Deputy Chief

Destabilizing Lebanon after burning Syria; plotting putsch at home: King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

Syria: UN food relief agency ‘doing everything we can’ to reach Idlib civilians

How speaking ‘parentese’ to your child could make them a faster learner

‘Stronger’ effort must be made to cement peace deal for South Sudanese women and girls: UN Women chief

Unemployment and exclusion brings EU cities to boiling point

Large parts of the world are growing more fragile. Here are 5 steps to reverse course

Don’t take African generosity towards refugees for granted, says UN refugee chief

The reason the world showed limited empathy to the Orlando victims

We are ‘burning up our future’, UN’s Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

Actions not words: what was promised at the UN’s landmark climate summit?

Benefits of rural migration effect often overlooked, new UN report suggests

Coronavirus: UN health agency moves fast to tackle ‘infodemic’; Guterres warns against stigmatization

These are 2018’s stats of the year

A reality check on inclusive innovation

Questions and Answers on issues about the digital copyright directive

ECB describes in detail how it exploits the poor

Security Council urged to help spare Syrians from ‘devastation’

The EU Spring Summit set to challenge austerity

EU-wide rules for safety of drones approved by European Parliament

Youth Internationalization: part of everyday life in JADE

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