17 September, 2017
Since September 6 when Hurricane Irma, the most monstrous storm that the Atlantic has endured in history, thundered-up to the tiny island of Barbuda and devastated it, I have been telling audiences in Washington DC, and, through the media, to the wider world that Climate Change and global warming are a reality and here to stay.
Barbuda and Antigua prime minister Gaston Browne implemented a mandatory evacuation order on September 8, to ensure every single resident was moved to safety.
Days after Hurricane Irma destroyed an entire island of Barbuda, NASA released a series of satellite images showing the Caribbean before and after the storm.
All eyes are now on Barbuda, with recent estimates of $50 million being reported to re-build the island.
In agreeing with this observation, the Antigua and Barbuda ambassador said: "This is precisely why the country requires worldwide help".
Speaking to the BBC's Laura Bicker as the evacuation got underway, Mr Browne said that a rapid recovery and rebuild operation was unlikely. He hasn't been able to go back home to look for them. "It could be clothes, they've lost everything". "The island and the people on the island had absolutely no chance".
The Cayman government also dispatched a team of medical practitioners comprising two doctors and nurses, led by Dr. Glaister Bell from its Health Services Authority to remain in Anguilla for two weeks. "You tend to hear about Florida but Antigua and Barbuda is out there", Somerville says. Their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is low, it means they don't have a lot of money to deal with it. They see no white people, or black people or any shade of colour in between.
The Prime Ministers of the British Virgin Islands, Orlando Smith; and the Bahamas, Hubert Minnis; the Foreign Minister of Haiti, Antonio Rodríguez; and a representative of the government of the Turks and Caicos Islands provided updated information on the conditions in their countries.
Donations can be made directly to Total Change Ministries via cheque with a note on it for hurricane relief mailed to: 100 Jones Rd., Campbell River, B.C., V9W 2V1.
Pets and livestock also have been left to fend for themselves on the wind-swept island. A Rebuild Barbuda Appeal Fund has been launched through the Ascension Trust, founded by Antiguan-born Les Isaac, an ecumenical canon of Southwark Cathedral who was present.