Obama warns of devastating effect of Hurricane Matthew

Obama warns of devastating effect of Hurricane Matthew

Washington, Oct 6 (IANS) US President Barack Obama warned on Wednesday that Hurricane Matthew could have a devastating effect as residents of southeastern US states were bracing themselves for one of the most powerful storms to hit the region in almost a decade.

“This is a serious storm,” said Obama here after visiting the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters. “Even if you don’ t get the full force of the hurricane, we are still going to be seeing tropical force winds, the potential for storm surge, and all of that could have a devastating effect.”

According to the US National Hurricane Centre, the deadly Category 3 hurricane was roughly 169 km, south of Long Island in the Bahamas on Wednesday morning.

“We anticipate that by tomorrow morning, it will already begin to have significant effect in Florida, and then has the potential to strengthen and move on up the coast during the course of the day,” said Obama.

So far, the hurricane had claimed five lives in Haiti, and the UN Children’s Fund warned on Tuesday that more than 4 million children could be exposed to the damage of the hurricane on the impoverished Caribbean island.

In preparation for the upcoming hurricane, U.S. state of South Carolina would start evacuate over 1 million residents from its coastal areas later on Wednesday and Governor Rick Scott of Florida had urged coastal residents to stock three days’ worth of food, water and medicine.

Obama hails ‘historic day’ in fight against climate change

Washington, Oct 6 (IANS) US President Barack Obama on Wednesday hailed the UN announcement that the Paris Agreement will enter into force in 30 days, calling it a “historic day” in the fight against climate change.

“If we follow through on the commitments that this Paris Agreement embodies, history may well judge it as a turning point for our planet,” Obama said in remarks at the White House.

Obama noted that the Paris Agreement alone will not solve the climate crisis.

“Even if we meet every target embodied in the agreement, we’ll only get to part of where we need to go,” he said. “But make no mistake, this agreement will help delay or avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change.”

Obama said the agreement will help other nations ratchet down their carbon emissions over time and also “opens up the floodgates for businesses and scientists and engineers to unleash high-tech, low-carbon investment and innovation at a scale that we’ve never seen before.”

“So this gives us the best possible shot to save the one planet we’ve got,” he said.

Early on Wednesday, the United Nations announced the Paris Agreement is expected to enter into force in 30 days after it crossed “the second and final threshold” needed for it to take effect.

According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 72 countries including China and the United States have formally ratified the landmark climate deal.

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