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CARICOM Analyzes Effects of Hurricane Irma in Member Countries

17 September 2017, 04:06 | Taylor George

CARICOM Analyzes Effects of Hurricane Irma in Member Countries

Hurricane Irma's trail of destruction

Evacuees from Barbuda were sent to Antigua, which did not suffer the same level of damage from Irma.

"The damage is complete", Ronald Sanders, Antigua and Barbuda's Ambassador to the U.S, told PRI. There is no electricity there, there is no potable water anymore, there is no structure in which people can survive.

Speaking in Southwark on Thursday night, Commonwealth secretary general Baroness Patricia Scotland made an impassioned plea for people to work ceaselessly for the restoration of the island of Barbuda, 95 per cent devastated by Hurricane Irma. He said that after Hurricane Irma struck the Caribbean islands and moved to Florida Keys, it ensured that no one was left on the island of Barbuda, where a civilisation had existed for centuries, indiatimes.com reported.

In the meantime, CDEMA has been facilitating much of the regional collaboration through a hub in Antigua for the affected Eastern Caribbean islands, and one in Jamaica for the Western Caribbean, including the Turks and Caicos Islands, Haiti and The Bahamas.

It will take around $US200 million ($250 million) for Barbuda to recover - and the island won't be able to rebuild without outside help, he added.

Sanders went on to say that Hurricane Irma was "the most ferocious, cruel and merciless storm" in the history of Barbuda and that the island and its people had no chance against such a "huge monster".

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The dogs will look for their next meal among the chicken, pigs, horses and goats, Karen Corbin, president of the Antigua and Barbuda Humane Society, told TIME.

But most of those rescued and brought to the neighboring island are living in shelters, nursing homes and government buildings, Sanders told the Takeaway.

He said that Prime Minister Gaston Browne is already engaged about the need for a careful and well documented plan for the rebuilding of Barbuda that is sustainable, viable and "bankable' to attract the necessary funding".

"We are a small island community - the gross domestic product of Antigua is $US1 billion ($1.2 billion) a year", Sanders explained. "We can not afford to take on this responsibility by ourselves. We are hopeful that the worldwide community will come to our aid, not because we're begging for something we want, but because we're begging for something that is needed".

That's why Sanders' said awareness is just as important as recovery.

"We believe climate change is here to stay - it's a reality, despite all of the naysayers", he says.



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