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UN notes risk of more catastrophic damage from Hurricane Irma in Caribbean
September 11,2017   By:Xinhua

September 11, 2017 -- The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Friday said that there is risk of more catastrophic damage from Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean, with winds of up to 300 km per hour, storm surges and flooding in areas on Irma's trajectory.

A spokesperson from the OCHA told a press briefing here Friday that in Barbura, Irma has already reportedly killed at least three people, destroyed buildings, torn roofs off houses and left islands without power or communications.

In St. Martin/St. Maarten and St. Barts, the spokesperson said, damage has also been extensive and the government of the Netherlands has deployed marines to St. Maarten.

French authorities also informed that they have also sent military to assist and says that several people have died and 95 percent of St. Martin has been destroyed.

"In the days before the hurricane made landfall, humanitarian agencies began to preposition supplies and mobilize technical experts. OCHA has also mobilized rapidly to support the coordination of response efforts," the spokesperson said.

According to the UN agency, in Haiti, a UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team has been deployed at the request of the Humanitarian Coordinator and staff has been dispatched to the North.

Another UNDAC team has deployed to Barbados to support the regional Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and may deploy further if and where needed in the region.

At the same time, OCHA said, a third team is being mobilized to go first to Jamaica from where it can be deployed onwards to support humanitarian assessment and coordination, for example to Bahamas.