‘Catastrophe’ as Muslim villagers attacked
UNITED NATIONS – Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar are facing a “catastrophic” humanitarian situation, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres says.
Guterres said alleged attacks by security forces on Rohingya villagers were completely unacceptable, and urged them to suspend military action.
The army says it is fighting militants and denies targeting civilians.
Some 379 000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh since violence began last month. Whole villages have been burned down.
The Rohingya, a mostly Muslim minority in the Buddhist-majority Rakhine state, have long experienced persecution in Myanmar, which says they are illegal immigrants. They have lived in Myanmar, also known as Burma, for generations but are denied citizenship.
The UN Security Council was due to meet yesterday to discuss the crisis.
But Myanmar officials say the country’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, will miss a key debate next week in the UN General Assembly.
She will, however, address the nation on September 19, the day the General Assembly meets.
Its refugee agency says not enough aid is getting through to the Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh.
Guterres called on the international community to provide whatever assistance they could. (BBC) HOLLYWOOD, Florida/ SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Florida Governor Rick Scott yesterday vowed that the state would aggressively investigate how six people died at a nursing home that lost power when Hurricane Irma rampaged through the region, as millions coped with another day without electricity.
The death toll from the storm approached 80 as officials continued to assess the damage Irma caused after powering through the Caribbean as one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record and slamming into the Florida Keys archipelago with sustained winds of up to 130 miles per hour (215 kilometres per hour).
The second major hurricane to hit the United States mainland this year killed at least 36 people in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, according to officials. Some 4.3 million homes and businesses, or about nine million people, were without power at midday yesterday in Florida and nearby states.
Police opened a criminal investigation at the Rehabilitation Centre at Hollywood Hills, where three elderly residents were found dead at the facility and three later died at a nearby hospital, officials said.
“I am going to work to aggressively demand answers on how this tragic event took place,” Scott said in a statement. “This situation is unfathomable. Every facility that is charged with caring for patients must take every action and precaution to keep their patients safe.”
More than 100 patients at the nursing home were evacuated yesterday along with 18 patients from a nearby facility that was cleared due to the criminal investigation, Hollywood officials said.
Irma caused about $25 billion in insured losses, including $18 billion in the United States and $7 billion in the Caribbean, catastrophe modeller Karen Clark & Co estimated yesterday.
The Florida Keys were particularly hard hit, with federal officials saying that 25 per cent of homes were destroyed and 65 per cent suffered major damage when Irma barrelled ashore on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane.
Most residents had left by then and police have barred re-entry to most of the Keys to allow more time to restore electricity and medical service and bring water, food and fuel. (Reuters)