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03:07

UN: Experts describe Hurricane Dorian as 'catastrophic', fear for lives of thousands

Switzerland, Geneva
September 03, 2019 at 17:01 GMT +00:00 · Published

Hurricane Dorian was described as "catastrophic" by the spokesperson of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Jens Laerke, while speaking at a press conference in Geneva on Tuesday.

"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," Laerke said.

Hurricane Dorian has reportedly destroyed 13,000 houses - 45 percent of all the residences in the two islands - and killed five people so far.

According to Matthew Cochrane, spokesperson of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Abaco Island has the most vulnerable population in need of assistance. "We also understand that about 62,000 people across the two islands will need access to clean drinking water," he added.

For Denis McClean, spokesperson of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the heavy storms that hit the Bahamas in the past four years are a clear consequence of global warming. "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."

With winds of 270 kilometres an hour and gusts reaching 321 kilometres an hour, Hurricane Dorian is expected to get "dangerously" close to Florida coastline if it maintains its current course.

Mandatory credit: UN TV

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Hurricane Dorian was described as "catastrophic" by the spokesperson of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Jens Laerke, while speaking at a press conference in Geneva on Tuesday.

"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," Laerke said.

Hurricane Dorian has reportedly destroyed 13,000 houses - 45 percent of all the residences in the two islands - and killed five people so far.

According to Matthew Cochrane, spokesperson of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Abaco Island has the most vulnerable population in need of assistance. "We also understand that about 62,000 people across the two islands will need access to clean drinking water," he added.

For Denis McClean, spokesperson of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the heavy storms that hit the Bahamas in the past four years are a clear consequence of global warming. "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."

With winds of 270 kilometres an hour and gusts reaching 321 kilometres an hour, Hurricane Dorian is expected to get "dangerously" close to Florida coastline if it maintains its current course.

Mandatory credit: UN TV

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