Hurricane Maria Recovery: OECS Moves Beyond Climate Change to Climate Reality

OECS Media Release

Friday, September 22, 2017 — In the wake of Hurricane Irma and Maria, emergency personnel, food and other supplies are reaching critically affected islands with a focus on the stabilizing the injured and securing communication lines as the regional narrative now turns to climate reality.

Dominica Update

A Venezuelan search and rescue team departed for Dominica yesterday on the Express des Isles Ferry service with travel funded by Cox and Co. to locate the injured and missing while a specialist medical team was transported in by helicopter.

A Cuban contingent of emergency and medical specialists with sniffer dogs are due to arrive in Dominica shortly.

Concurrently, a specialist team from the Dominican Electricity Services arrived back home to a state of disaster after helping Anguilla in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules said solidary in the OECS was being galvanized after the region was pummeled by the unprecedented ferociousness and frequency of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“In addition to the crucial support being provided by the Caribbean Disaster Management Emergency Agency (CDEMA), the OECS is also grateful to our development partners and those nations that have come to the aid of affected Member States as they go about rebuilding their shattered lives and property.

“As information comes to hand we will be providing public updates as to relief efforts and I urge everyone to make a monetary or in-kind contribution to our rebuilding program which is going to take months.

“There is a need for many items and we are especially mindful of the most vulnerable and weak in the community including women, children the sick and elderly.

“Regrettably these occurrences ominously suggest that as Small Island Developing States we have now moved beyond climate change to one of climate reality with the need for enhanced institutional and international frameworks of support to deal effectively with future hurricanes and other associated hazards” said Dr. Jules.

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