Indonesia supports efforts to restore community life in Caribbean Islands

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia has lauded global efforts to restore community life in the Caribbean Islands and will offer necessary support to improve the capacity of local communities to ensure that the recovery process runs swiftly and independently.

The statement was delivered by Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs Puan Maharani after attending the United Nations (UN) High-Level Meeting held at the UN Headquarters, New York, the US, on Monday (Sept 18) in response to Hurricane Irma that had struck the Caribbean Islands on September 7-9, 2017.

"As an archipelagic country, Indonesia is prone to disasters. Indonesia is also aware of the vulnerabilities and disasters experienced by the Caribbean Island countries due to Hurricane Irma," Maharani noted in a written statement received here on Tuesday.

Residents who returned to the Florida Keys archipelago on Tuesday found Hurricane Irma had shredded mobile homes like soda cans and coated businesses with seaweed, while the death toll rose for the second major hurricane to hit the US this year, according to Reuters.

Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record before it made landfall in the US, killed 43 people in its rampage through the Caribbean and at least 12 in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

No report has been received of any Indonesian citizens being injured in the US due to Hurricane Irma, according to the Indonesian General Consulate in Houston.

"Till date, we have not received any information confirming an Indonesian casualty due to Hurricane Irma that had struck the Caribbean Islands on September 7-9, 2017," the Indonesian Consulate Office in Houston had earlier stated.

The consulate office had contacted seven Indonesian citizens who stay in Puerto Rico and five Indonesians living in the US Virgin Islands.

They confirmed that all Indonesian citizens were in safe condition.

Additionally, seven Balinese people working in the British Virgin Islands were unhurt despite their office being damaged.

The Indonesian Foreign Ministry is also coordinating with the Indonesian Embassy in London to offer assistance.

The Consulate General in Houston has also urged the Indonesian community in Florida and Georgia to be careful and intensively communicate, as Hurricane Irma will hit the areas on September 10-12, 2017.

Several officers have been assigned at the monitoring center for Indonesian people in need of assistance.

According to the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, 3,144 Indonesian people live in Georgia and 2,595 people reside in Miami.

The Consulate General Office is also communicating with Indonesian communities to monitor the condition of the people in Florida and Georgia.(*)