OAS Concerned Over Hurricane Activity

Hurricanes currently beating down on several Caribbean countries are a major concern to the Organisation of American States, with Secretary General José Miguel Insulza today expressing sympathy over the loss of life in Haiti and other countries in the Caribbean. Particular concern was expressed over the impact of hurricane Emily on Grenada. The Secretary General said the OAS has already begun consultations with the mechanisms of the inter-American system and with other key international bodies to determine what assistance can be rendered.

“We are very much seized of the troubling development of hurricanes,” said Insulza, noting the organization is also “mindful that these storms have come very early in the season this year.”

He expressed particular concern that the present storms, such as Emily - but also those that are yet to come - could deal a severe economic setback to several countries because the hurricane phenomena have been widely observed to be increasing in intensity in recent years, and there is still a long way before the end of the traditional hurricane season.

The OAS’ concern also revolves around the potential reach of these natural disasters - into Central America, Mexico and the United States as well - and the resulting loss of life witnessed especially in recent years, the Secretary General stated, emphasizing that;

“their impact could be substantial in terms of the human and material cost for countries for this month and the coming months.”

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A meeting of the OAS Inter-American Committee on Natural Disaster Reduction, Subcommittee on Response and Preparedness, is being convened for tomorrow, Friday July 15, to review the action of each agency in disaster situation and analyze whether any changes are required based on the experience of the hurricanes of 2004.
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