‘Catas­tro­phe’ as Mus­lim vil­lagers at­tacked

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - One World -

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)

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