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Sunday 22 October 2017
Regional

Countries come together to help Irma-struck islands

ACS Hurricane Irma relief meeting: ACS Hurricane Irma relief meeting: (Middle, blue suit) Secretary General of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), Dr June Soomer, leads a meeting on September 7, met with the Ambassadors of Venezuela, Colombia and Panama at the ACS offices in Port-of-Spain to organise relief efforts for Caribbean islands which have felt or are bracing for the wrath of Hurricane Irma. The ACS said the meeting was in response to a call from the Chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Allen Chastanet, to assist in mobilising the support of Venezuela, Colombia and Panama – which have quick response systems, to collect and deliver emergency supplies to affected people in the Caribbean Basin. PHOTO COURTESY THE ACS.

As record-strength Hurricane Irma continues to devastate the countries of the Greater Caribbean, the ACS has responded to a call from the Chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Allen Chastanet, to assist in mobilising the support of Venezuela, Colombia and Panama – which have quick response systems, to collect and deliver emergency supplies to affected people in the Caribbean Basin.

ACS Secretary General Dr June Soomer met today with the Ambassadors of Venezuela, Colombia and Panama in Port-of-Spain.

At the meeting, Venezuela reiterated its offer of transportation as well as, to provide relief supplies to the islands ravaged by Hurricane Irma. Panama and Colombia have already activated their own disaster response systems to provide assistance.

Dr Soomer said, "They have already alerted their governments so they are on standby. The Venezuelan government has already put in place measures to ensure that military planes can deliver supplies to the affected countries. They also want to assist with canned foodstuff and water."

The Secretary General says as the Association bringing the Greater Caribbean together, it is in a position to quickly mobilise resources to assist in such disasters as requested by the OECS Chairman. The OECS Secretariat will facilitate coordination and collaboration with the ACS and other disaster response agencies like CDEMA.

As Hurricane Irma moves between Hispaniola, and Turks and Caicos, and towards the Bahamas, Hurricane Jose, the tenth named tropical cyclone for the year is now at Category 5 strength. The 11th named tropical cyclone, Katia is also gathering strength in the Gulf of Mexico.

For the latest information and forecasts on the hurricanes, visit: www.hurricanes.gov

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