Hur­ri­cane Nicole pum­mels the is­land

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

All but three of the school­girls were car­ry­ing ba­bies, an aid worker who saw the girls in Maiduguri told The As­so­ci­ated Press. He spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause he was not au­tho­rised to speak to the press. Many Boko Haram cap­tives re­cently freed by mil­i­tary ac­tion have been shunned by their com­mu­ni­ties be­cause they have come home preg­nant or with ba­bies from the fight­ers.

Their re­lease was ne­go­ti­ated be­tween the gov­ern­ment and Boko Haram with the In­ter­na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Swiss gov­ern­ment acted as in­ter­me­di­aries, said Shehu and a state­ment from the ICRC. Ne­go­ti­a­tions will con­tinue for the re­lease of the other stu­dents, said Shehu.

Four de­tained Boko Haram lead­ers were re­leased Wed­nes­day night in Banki, a town on the north­east bor­der with Cameroon, said a mil­i­tary of­fi­cer fa­mil­iar with the talks, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause he is not au­tho­rised to speak to the press on the mat­ter. The girls were flown by he­li­copter to Maiduguri, the north­east­ern cap­i­tal of Borno state and birth­place of Boko Haram, he said.

The ab­duc­tion of 276 school­girls in April 2014 from a school in Chi­bok and the gov­ern­ment’s fail­ure to quickly free them has caused in­ter­na­tional out­rage and brought Boko Haram, Nige­ria’s home­grown Is­lamic ex­trem­ist group, to the world’s at­ten­tion. HAMIL­TON (AP): HUR­RI­CANE NICOLE snapped trees, flooded homes and peeled off some roofs as it pum­melled the Bri­tish ter­ri­tory of Ber­muda yes­ter­day as an ex­tremely dan­ger­ous Cat­e­gory 3 storm.

The storm was lo­cated about 10 miles (20 kilo­me­tres) east of Ber­muda late yes­ter­day. It had max­i­mum sus­tained winds of 120mph (195kph) and was mov­ing north­east at 16mph (26kph).

There was a brief respite across Ber­muda as the eye of the hur­ri­cane passed by, but gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials urged ev­ery­one to re­main inside.

“This is a se­ri­ous storm, and it’s liv­ing up to the weather pre­dic­tions,” said Na­tional Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter Jeff Baron. “The worst is not over.”

Nick West, who lives with his fam­ily near a wharf in the town of St George, said the hur­ri­cane ripped off a large por­tion of his roof just be­fore the eye passed over the is­land.

His gar­den also is now un­der­wa­ter.

“We are hid­ing down­stairs. All safe and dry for now,” he said. “Just as long as we are all safe, that is all I re­ally care about.”

The hur­ri­cane knocked out power to more than 20,000 cus­tomers in Ber­muda, which has sturdy in­fra­struc­ture and is ac­cus­tomed to storms.

The hur­ri­cane had strength­ened to a Cat­e­gory 4 storm late Wed­nes­day but lost some steam overnight. How­ever, fore­cast­ers warned that it was still ex­tremely dan­ger­ous.

“While hur­ri­canes of­ten af­fect Ber­muda, a hur­ri­cane this strong is rare,” the Na­tional Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter said.

“I’m com­fort­able with the re­sources we have in hand to deal with this storm,” Premier Michael Dunkley said. “I have ev­ery faith that the peo­ple of Ber­muda will rally to­gether after the storm.” Heavy rain and in­creas­ing winds rock boats moored in Mul­let Bay in St Ge­orges, Ber­muda, yes­ter­day as the is­land be­gins to feel the ef­fects of Hur­ri­cane Nicole.


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