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Mitigation Efforts Implemented to Lessen Effects of Natural Disasters

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#Caribbean, August 25, 2022 – With hurricanes a commonplace in the Caribbean, several countries have implemented disaster mitigation programmes to lessen the effects of the disasters.  In St. Vincent, they have built new houses with foundations supported by concrete walls and wood beams cast in concrete.

There has also been the development of wind seed maps that give insight on the correct angle to position roofs and a stricter inspection of building codes throughout the Region.

Most residential houses and structures are susceptible to hurricane damage in the Caribbean, and historically, agricultural workers in St. Kitts didn’t own their houses and most of those homes were built as small and cheaply as possible.

Construction of houses also occurred on poor soil conditions and steep slopes that increased the vulnerability to landslides and soil erosion.  Because of the poor construction and inadequate living areas, there have been numerous efforts to reduce hurricane damage.

The development of technology has aided in disaster prevention too.  Some examples are the introduction of kites and balloons to measure the insides of storms, weather reconnaissance (flying aircraft into a hurricane) and hurricane forecasting to track the path of storms.

These systems have become even more important because of the rise of population during the last inactive period from the 1970s to 1990s.  Hurricane Mitch has been cited as an indication of future disaster for the Caribbean, unless societal vulnerabilities are reduced.

The leading groups of disaster mitigation include: the Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project 2011 (CDMP), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response (CDERA) by CARICOM, and the University of West Indies Cyclone Resistant Housing (Caribbean) Project.

The Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project has also been a coordinated effort to promote the adoption of natural disaster mitigation and preparedness practices by both the public and private sectors in the Caribbean region, through a series of activities carried out in recent years.

Caribbean News

Vessels sink with 900 barrels of fuel in Trinidad

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#Trinidad, December 2, 2022 – The Ministry of Energy and Energy Resources in Trinidad reported on Wednesday that a ship carrying 900 barrels of diesel fuel had sunk in the Gulf of Paria. The six crew members on board were rescued and received medical assessment.

The statement revealed that the barge owned by Trinity Liftboat Services Limited was trying to demobilise Trinity Heritage Petroleum Company’s North Field when it capsized.

After receiving an SOS from a vessel in their North Field, Heritage sent out a response team. An investigation into the incident has started, however, the main focus is to redeem the barge without making any oil spills.

The owners of the sunken vessel said “there are no injuries recorded. (The vessel) now sits on the seafloor no longer posing a risk to any of Heritage Petroleum’s platforms or installations.” They said the captain made a good decision to abandon the ship so that the crew members could be rescued and transported back to base.

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Bahamas News

Digital coin created for Caribbean’s Dominica as island partners with Huobi

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

December 2, 2022 – The Commonwealth of Dominica has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, to issue its own national cryptocurrencies, Dominica Coin (DMC), and Digital Identity Documents (DID), already reports indicate a surge for the Huobi token.

This new collaboration with Dominica will bring the Caribbean one step closer to being a global cryptocurrency exchange centre.  Huobi also announced its intention to move headquarters from Seychelles to the Caribbean.

It was explained, “The deal is noteworthy partly because of its connections to crypto billionaire Justin Sun, founder of the Tron blockchain where the Caribbean island’s new token will initially reside.”

Dominica Coin (DMC) and digital identity documents (DID) will be issued by Huobi Prime via the TRON network (a project dedicated to building the infrastructure for a truly decentralized Internet); both will serve as credentials for the future metaverse platform based in Dominica. DIDs can be used for cryptocurrency Know Your Customer verification, applying for loans, and opening bank accounts on the island.

The DMC is not yet ready for launch, but The HT token is up 15% over the last 24 hours to $7.12. It’s up 40% over the past seven days.

As one of the first Caribbean islands to adopt the citizenship-by-investment policy, the Dominican government is seeking to delve into the metaverse and Web3 technology as a means to boost the country’s development.

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Bahamas News

Imminent Worldwide Measles Threat; 25 Million CHILDREN miss First Dose

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

December 2, 2022 – Forty million children are at risk of Measles as what the World Health Organization is describing as an “imminent threat” takes shape. A joint report between the WHO and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control revealed that a record number of children missed their measles dose with 25 million children missing their first dose and 14.7 million children missing their second dose in 2021 alone.

Nine million cases of measles were recorded last year, twenty-two countries experienced large and disruptive outbreaks and 128,000 deaths occurred, the report says.

“The paradox of the pandemic is that while vaccines against COVID-19 were developed in record time and deployed in the largest vaccination campaign in history, routine immunization programmes were badly disrupted, and millions of kids missed out on life-saving vaccinations against deadly diseases like measles,” said Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

Measles is easily one of the most contagious viruses in the world and while many people think itchy spots when they think of the disease it can cause pneumonia, seizures and brain damage in about 30 percent of infected individuals.

Herd immunity will not work with this disease, say experts, unless 95 per cent of people or more are vaccinated; only 71 per cent of children in 2022 are fully vaccinated.

“Measles anywhere is a threat everywhere” the report said, emphasizing that no WHO region has achieved and sustained measles elimination.

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