NYC sends personnel to help Caribbean with Hurricane Maria recovery

With the devastation caused by a series of hurricanes in the Caribbean, New York City is lending a helping hand to the victims of Hurricane Maria.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is sending 27 members of the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean region to assist in the recovery efforts, according to ABC TV.

Members of the NYPD and FDNY, including medics and disaster relief professionals, left Wednesday for the Caribbean, reported the television station.

It said the members make up the city’s Urban Search and Rescue team, “who will likely end up in Puerto Rico depending on the damage.”

There are 28 Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) Urban Search and Rescue teams strategically located throughout the United States, which can also be deployed to the region within six hours of activation, ABC TV said.

It said this Atlantic hurricane season, New York Task Force One has deployed to assist in the relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

Meantime, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne is expected to focus the world’s attention on climate change and its effects on the Caribbean when he addresses the United Nations General Assembly Thursday evening.

Before departing Antigua on Wednesday, Browne said his primary objective is to speak about the devastation of the sister isle of Barbuda, which was ravaged by Hurricane Irma and to rally the support of the international community for the island.

“I will also be speaking to the issue of Climate Change,” Browne said. “We recognize that in some quarters they are arguing against the issue of climate change.

“We are the ones who are suffering the consequences of climate change here in the Caribbean,” he added. “I want to ensure that I am one of the major advocates on the issue of climate change.”

Browne said his intention is to work with individuals, such as former US Vice President Al Gore and others, to become “more integrally involved” in advancing the arguments in favor of climate change,” according to an Antigua and Barbuda government statement.

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