UN envoy warns of dire consequences of Hurricane Beryl

According to the UN Resident Coordinator for the Eastern Caribbean, Simon Springett, the phenomenon devastated Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada, affecting basic services such as telephone and communications or road infrastructure.

“It’s likely that about 95 percent of the housing stock has been destroyed. That means, virtually, all local businesses, all income-generating activities, the list goes on.”

The UN representative considered the impact on tourism, which is essential to the Caribbean islands, to be catastrophic.

In this regard, he said that fortunately, major infrastructure such as airports and ports did not suffer major damage.

But Springett confirmed damage to desalination plants, telephone towers, fiber optic cables and roads.

At least 40,000 people in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, more than 110,000 in Grenada, and 920,000 in Jamaica have been affected by the phenomenon, which is now affecting Belize and Mexico as it passes through Central America.

According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, teams on the ground are continuing their assessments to determine the full extent of Hurricane Beryl, the strongest hurricane in history in the Atlantic Ocean that formed in June.

For its part, the International Organization for Migration recorded severe damage on the islands of Carriacou and Petit Martinique, where 70 and 97 percent of buildings were damaged, respectively.

He added that in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 90 percent of homes on Union Island were affected, while almost all buildings on Canouan Island suffered some damage, with roofs blown off and water and electricity severely cut off.

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The United Nations this week confirmed the disbursement of $4 million from its Central Emergency Response Fund for humanitarian operations in three of the affected countries.

The budget will be allocated to Grenada, Jamaica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, which have been severely affected by this phenomenon.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced that he is still coordinating with affected countries to study the possibility of launching an appeal to meet humanitarian needs.

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