Gains and Chal­lenges of Our Amerindian Com­mu­nity

Weekend Mirror - - EDITORIAL -

BBC -- Hurricane Irma has caused wide­spread de­struc­tion across the Caribbean, re­duc­ing build­ings to rub­ble and leav­ing at least nine peo­ple dead.

The small is­land of Bar- buda is said to be “barely hab­it­able”. Of­fi­cials warn that St Martin is al­most de­stroyed, and the death toll is likely to rise.

Irma is a cat­e­gory five hurricane, the high­est possi- ble level.

It is cur­rently north of the Do­mini­can Repub­lic, head­ing to­wards Turks and Caicos.

The low-ly­ing Turks and Caicos is­lands, a Bri­tish over­seas ter­ri­tory, are said to be at risk of a storm surge, with the pos­si­bil­ity of de­struc­tive waves up to 6m (20ft) higher than usual.

Vir­ginia Clerveaux, di­rec­tor of the Turks and Caicos Depart­ment of Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment and Emer­gen­cies, told the BBC that even in­land ar­eas could be in­un­dated.

“We are now try­ing to re­mind them [ the peo­ple of the is­lands] that this is a cat­e­gory 5, and in the his­tory of the Turks and Caicos is­lands this is the largest storm we have ever been im­pacted or threatened by.

“So there is a need to en­sure that we have maxi- mum prepa­ra­tions in place... We have been say­ing to per­sons to en­sure that they are pre­pared, en­sure they can shel­ter safely, they have suf­fi­cient food and drink­ing wa­ter for two to three days.”

Mean­while, the head of the US emer­gency agency has said that Hurricane Irma will have a “truly dev­as­tat­ing” im­pact when it hits south­ern coastal ar­eas of the United States.

“The ma­jor­ity of peo­ple along the coast have never ex­pe­ri­enced a ma­jor hurricane like this,” Fed­eral Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (Fema) chief Brock Long told CNN.

The most pow­er­ful At­lantic storm i n a decade, Irma has sus­tained wind speeds of 285km/ h (180mph).

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