Scientists say extreme storms will be 'new normal — United Nations chief

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Scientists say extreme storms will be 'new normal — United Nations chief

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hopes recent devastating hurricanes in the Caribbean and southern United States will convince climate change sceptics like US President Donald Trump that global warming is a "major threat".

Trump visited the United States territory of Puerto Rico to survey the damage from Hurricane Maria.

'I have not yet lost my hope that what is happening will be making those that are still skeptical about climate change to be more and more realising that this, indeed, is a major threat for the worldwide community at the present moment, ' he said on Wednesday.

There SG Guterres will survey the damage first hand and assess what more the United Nations can do to help nationals there recover.

Stephen O'Malley, the U.N. resident coordinator for Barbados and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, said Tuesday that the United Nations, World Bank and Antigua government have conducted a post-disaster needs assessment for Barbuda, whose 1,800 residents were evacuated to Antigua before Hurricane Irma damaged 95 percent of its structures on September 14.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has listed Dominica, Cuba, Turks and Caicos, Sint Maarten, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominican Republic and Haiti among the countries affected by the hurricanes and requiring aid.

Guterres said the response to the $113.9 million United Nations appeal to cover humanitarian needs in the Caribbean for the immediate period ahead has been poor and he urged donors "to respond more generously in the weeks to come".

Guterres said: "I commend those countries that are showing solidarity with the Caribbean countries at this time of dire need, including those doing so through South-South cooperation".

"I regret to report, the response has been poor", he said. "Innovative financing mechanisms will be crucial in enabling countries, like the Caribbean ones, to cope with external shocks of such significant magnitude".

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