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CARICOM Secretary-General – Statement on Hurricane Irma

Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has expressed his sadness at the deaths caused by Hurricane Irma in its path through the region.

“I am saddened to hear of the loss of life the Secretary-General said.  “I extend my sympathies to the families of the deceased and to the Governments and People of the countries,” he added.

Secretary-General LaRocque noted that reports were still coming in with respect to damage in the countries which have experienced the wrath of the huge storm, while preparations were being made for its arrival in those countries which have been identified as being likely to be affected by the hurricane.

Hurricane Irma has so far struck the CARICOM Member State of Antigua and Barbuda, and the Associate Members Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands, with its outer bands affecting St. Kitts and Nevis and Dominica.  The Turks and Caicos Islands, The Bahamas and Haiti are in the predicted path of the Hurricane.

 “I have been in regular contact with the Chairman, Dr. the Rt. Honourable Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada and with the Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), Ronald Jackson,” the Secretary-General said.  He said the Lead Head for Sustainable Development including Disaster Management in the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet, Honourable Allen Chastenet, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia had also been briefed.

Ambassador LaRocque has also been in contact with the Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis and the Honourable Victor Banks Chief Minister of Anguilla.

CDEMA, the lead agency for disaster response, has activated the Regional Response Mechanism which coordinates disaster response among CDEMA Participating States, as well as Regional Institutions and International Agencies.

Ambassador LaRocque also expressed his concern about the devastation on the Islands of St Maarten and St Barthelemy which have been severely affected by the Hurricane.

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