Hurricane Dorian “hammering” Bahamas, could be strongest on record, UN weather experts warn
Hurricane Dorian is “hammering” the Bahamas and may be the strongest on record to ever have hit the region, UN weather experts said on Monday.
According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Dorian is a top-level, category 5 hurricane, with sustained wind speeds of 270 kilometres per hour (or 168 miles per hour).
It is proving to be devastating for Grand Bahama island and the damage has been made worse because the weather system is “very, very slow moving”.
In addition to Hurricane Dorian, WMO partner the US National Hurricane Center, is monitoring four other potentially dangerous weather systems in the Atlantic over coming days. The centre’s advice to people in the Bahamas is to remain in shelter.
Mid-week, “life-threatening storm surges” are expected along Florida’s east coast, and they are increasingly likely along the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina later this week. The peak of Atlantic hurricane season is around 10 September.
Alarm over Syria health centre attacks
To Syria’s north-west now, where seven health centres have been reportedly attacked - and two of them have been destroyed in recent days, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.
In a statement, the UN health agency said that the facilities included four hospitals and two primary health care centres “that were functional at the time they were hit”.
The attacks come at a time of increased hostilities in and around Syria’s Idlib province – the last opposition stronghold in the country, which has been devastated by years of war.
According to WHO, some 13.7 million people need health assistance in Syria, including an estimated four million in the north-west.
In August alone, it reported that more than 130,000 people were displaced from Northern Hama and Idlib governorates.
UN chief ends DR Congo trip with plea for more Ebola funding
On the last day of his 72-hour tour of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), UN Secretary-General António Guterres has left Ebola-hit areas, after warning that without more funding, “we could lose the war” against the disease.
While in DRC, Mr. Guterres has visited Beni and Mangina in the east – the epicentre of the Ebola crisis, which began last August and has so far claimed more than 2,000 lives.
In addition to speaking to survivors of the disease and saluting their courage, the Secretary-General toured treatment centres and highlighted the sacrifice of UN peacekeepers and DRC police who have died in insecure parts of the country’s eastern territories.
And in a call for greater support from the international community, Mr. Guterres said that only 15 per cent of what had been pledged has been paid so far.
“When there is no cash, even if there are promises, the Ebola response stops,” the Secretary-General said, adding that “if we lose a week in the response to Ebola, we do not only lose a week: we could lose the war against Ebola”.