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Cyclone ‘Beryl’: Importance of early warning systems underlined

This is the first time such a powerful cyclone has been experienced in the Atlantic Ocean during the month of June. It became a ‘Category 4’ and then a ‘Category 5’ storm in a short time, and brought with it strong winds of up to 240 kilometers per hour.

By the time it hit the US state of Texas as a Category 1 hurricane on Monday morning this week, it had slowed somewhat, but still posed a risk of dangerous waves and flash flooding.

According to the UN meteorological agency’s Miami center, it is likely to weaken rapidly as it moves away from the coast and into other parts of the province.

Vigilance required

Wikimedia Commons has media related to W.M.O. has warned that the coming months could prove to be extremely challenging due to cyclones, and 25 cyclones are expected to hit by the month of November.

Barrett, the UN agency’s deputy secretary-general, warned that extra vigilance is needed this year. Ocean temperatures have warmed to record levels in the Atlantic hurricane breeding region, and ‘La Niña’ conditions have developed, which could lead to an increased number of storms.

“For this reason, WMO and its partner organisations have [देशों] I have given priority to early warning action for all.”

Tragic situation in Jamaica

As reports come in from the affected areas following the passage of Beryl, the picture of devastation is becoming clearer.

In Jamaica, ‘Beryl’ made landfall at 5 pm local time on July 3. UN humanitarian teams reported that trees were uprooted, flooding and high waves damaged vital infrastructure, including more than 250 roads. Many houses had their roofs blown off.

A UN team has visited several areas where many families need supplies of water, food, sanitation and reconstruction materials, as well as psychosocial support.

According to an estimate, 1 lakh 60 thousand people including 37 thousand children need immediate humanitarian assistance.

mass wasting

In the eastern Caribbean region, Cyclone Beryl made landfall on July 1, causing widespread damage.

UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance Affairs (OCHA) has said in one of its bulletins that it is a challenge to accurately estimate the exact number of affected people – communication and electricity services have been severely damaged.

Relief operations are also hampered by the damage to small airstrips and reliance on small boats, making it difficult to assess damage and deliver aid.

Destruction caused by Cyclone Beryl on Cariacou Island, Grenada.

Destruction caused by Cyclone Beryl on Cariacou Island, Grenada.

Meanwhile, in Grenada, Cariacou and other northern areas have been severely affected, and there is limited public transport to connect to the mainland.

On the other hand, Union Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has also been badly affected. Local agencies have arranged shelters in tourist centers for vulnerable families and the damage caused by the storm is being assessed.

Humanitarian relief efforts

Meanwhile, UN teams are providing support to national and regional agencies in assessment and relief efforts.

UN Disaster Coordination and Training Specialist Teams have been deployed to Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to assist in relief operations.

In Jamaica United Nations Children’s Fund ,UNICEF) is finalizing its plan and has requested funding from humanitarian donors to meet the immediate needs of children and affected families.

In parallel, coordinated efforts are being made with other agencies under the leadership of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator to prepare a common appeal for emergency funds.

David Dass
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