This site uses cookies. By accepting cookies you can optimise your browsing experience. Read more.
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

03:07
Pool for subscribers only
Restrictions

Mandatory credit: UNTV

No Account? Sign up!
Description

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

M/S Speakers and journalists at press room of UN building, Geneva

M/S Camera operators

SOT, Jens Laerke, Spokesperson of UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): "The initial assessments that we are getting in is that it is rather catastrophic. 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 Bahamas have said already that five individuals have been confirmed killed as a result of this hurricane."

M/S Laerke speaking *CUTAWAY*

SOT, Clare Nullis, Spokesperson of World Meteorological Organization (WMO): "It was the strongest hurricane on record to make landfall in the Bahamas. 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."

W/S Press room *CUTAWAY*

SOT, Matthew Cochrane, Spokesperson of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC): "We believe that more than 13,000 houses have been severely damaged or destroyed, that's about 45 per cent of all homes on the two islands."

C/U Journalists typing on computer *CUTAWAY*

SOT, Clare Nullis, Spokesperson of World Meteorological Organization (WMO): "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."

M/S Journalists typing on computer *CUTAWAY*

SOT, Denis McClean, spokesperson of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR): "This is the fourth consecutive year that we have witnessed an extremely devastating Atlantic hurricane season including Category 5 hurricanes like Dorian. The sequence cannot be divorced from the fact that these last five years have been the hottest ever recorded because of the continuing rise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere."

W/S Press conference *CUTAWAY*

SOT, Denis McClean, spokesperson of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR): "Hurricane Dorian crystallises the existential threat posed to small island developing states 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 cost approximately $820 million."

M/S Journalists *CUTAWAY*

SOT, Matthew Cochrane, Spokesperson of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC): "In terms of needs, we believe that Abaco Island has the most vulnerable population, 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."

M/S Speakers

W/S Press conference

W/S UN building facade

Video Feed
Providing you with the best in breaking news, politics, science, sports, tech, viral and entertainment content
All latest videos
Spain: 'Peter Lim, sell and go!' - Valencia fans vent fury at club owner
02:37
Spain: 'Peter Lim, sell and go!' - Valencia fans vent fury at club owner
September 22 at 16:54 GMT +00:00
Germany: Activists condemn 5G tech ahead of parliament debate in Berlin
02:01
Germany: Activists condemn 5G tech ahead of parliament debate in Berlin
September 22 at 16:14 GMT +00:00
Spain: 'A complete mess' - British expats stage anti-Brexit protest in Malaga
03:45
Spain: 'A complete mess' - British expats stage anti-Brexit protest in Malaga
September 22 at 15:46 GMT +00:00
Germany: Thousands flock to watch Oktoberfest's costume parade
02:33
Germany: Thousands flock to watch Oktoberfest's costume parade
September 22 at 15:01 GMT +00:00
Japan: All Blacks stars say 'san-kyu' to their Rugby World Cup hosts
02:49
Japan: All Blacks stars say 'san-kyu' to their Rugby World Cup hosts
September 22 at 14:56 GMT +00:00
Iran: 'Foreign forces' in Gulf 'can cause problems and insecurity' says Rouhani
03:35
Iran: 'Foreign forces' in Gulf 'can cause problems and insecurity' says Rouhani
September 22 at 14:47 GMT +00:00
Russia: Northern Fleet conducts live-fire drills in Barents SeaPool for subscribers only
00:56
Russia: Northern Fleet conducts live-fire drills in Barents Sea
September 22 at 13:19 GMT +00:00
Hong Kong: Police teargas protesters in anti-government rally
01:19
Hong Kong: Police teargas protesters in anti-government rally
September 22 at 11:45 GMT +00:00
Hong Kong: 'Glory to Hong Kong' protest anthem echoes in shopping centre rally
01:40
Hong Kong: 'Glory to Hong Kong' protest anthem echoes in shopping centre rally
September 22 at 08:17 GMT +00:00
Hong Kong: Protesters rally at shopping centre for new round of demos
01:27
Hong Kong: Protesters rally at shopping centre for new round of demos
September 22 at 06:20 GMT +00:00
Albania: Most powerful earthquake for 30 years hits TiranaPool for subscribers only
00:23
Albania: Most powerful earthquake for 30 years hits Tirana
September 22 at 02:31 GMT +00:00
Venezuela: Chavistas hand in 13 million signatures to 'No more Trump' campaign
02:45
Venezuela: Chavistas hand in 13 million signatures to 'No more Trump' campaign
September 22 at 01:50 GMT +00:00
All latest videos