Air Transat sending 10 planes to Dominican Republic ahead of hurricane Irma

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“Our sympathy and solidarity go to the people of the Eastern Caribbean and to all those who may still be affected by Hurricane Irma“.

“Although it is still early to know the full impact that Irma will have in the region, the main concerns of UNICEF center around the supply of drinking water and food, and the health and protection of children and adolescents”, the United Nations Children’s Fund said on Wednesday.

The Montreal-based airline said late Tuesday it was sending 10 aircraft to the Caribbean nation – seven to Punta Cana, two to Puerto Plata and one to Samana. People are also encouraged to check their websites and social media for updates to travel advisories.

“The hurricane may severely impact people’s livelihoods – directly affecting women, men and children – impacting crucial activities for people, communities and entire countries such as agriculture, fisheries and small and medium enterprises”, said Jessica Faieta, UNDP regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

In Haiti, UN humanitarian staff have been deployed to the northern area of the country, which is likely to be hit.

Soldiers of the Kansas National Guard’s 35th Military Police Company said they are safe and well, despite being in the path of Hurricane Irma as it approaches Cuba, where the unit is deployed.

There were no immediate reports of deaths.

“Cuba has perfected the art of hurricane preparedness by mobilizing local neighborhood organizations and the military to evacuate not only residents in the path of ongoing storms but their pets and their most prized possessions”, said William LeoGrande, a professor of government at American University.

“We’re stranded here and we don’t know what to do”, he said.

The newlyweds told 12 News there was a lot of wind and rain, but reported no major damage around them.

Irma’s maximum sustained winds remain at 280 km/h with higher gusts making it a potentially catastrophic tropical cyclone.

In the US Virgin Islands, Governor Kenneth E. Mapp ordered a 36-hour curfew, according to CNN.

Last year, for example, Hurricane Matthew hit the the easternmost tip of Cuba and western Haiti as a category 4 storm with very different results.

Browne says in a statement that there were no deaths in Antigua.

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