President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the immediate evacuation of Nigerian students in Dominican Island following Hurricane Maria which has ravaged the tiny island.
A good number of Nigerian students attend medical schools in Dominican Islands which prepares them to move to the U. S. and Europe for the completion of their medical degree programmes.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs which has been monitoring the situation, had immediately swung into action following the president’s directive, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The ministry had already assigned a senior official to travel for the purpose of issuing the stranded students with temporary travel certificates. Consequently, the affected students have been evacuated to safety.
Confirming the Presidential order, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, stated that the president was touched with the students’ condition.
“The President was deeply touched when he learnt that some of them escaped with nothing but the shirts on their backs,” he said.
According to him, the students will be moved to Brazil, where they don’t need visas, for onward evacuation to Nigeria.
Monster storm Maria ripped through the Caribbean last week causing staggering damage in Dominica before moving on to Puerto Rico, where it left the U.S. territory in devastation described as “apocalyptic.
Hurricane Maria ranked a Category 4 storm, whipped Puerto Rico with Irma-level winds, drenched the island with Harvey-level flooding, crippled communications, decimated buildings and damaged a dam that puts downstream residents at risk of catastrophe.
At least 80 percent of the buildings there have been damaged and most communication lines cut. Aside from the homes, schools, and other buildings, markets were also flattened, leaving little food for the population.
The people of the island nation of 71,000 are desperate, and some are still in shock. So far, the death toll from the strongest storm to hit the U.S. territory in almost 90 years stands at 10 although. Statistics show that Maria has killed at least 31 lives across the Caribbean.
Authorities are now working to figure out the full extent of the damage, but they’re warning it could take a long while for the island to recover. It is also estimated that Maria’s economic damage could be as much as $30 billion.
Advocates, residents and officials implored the federal government to send more help and take seriously the long-term impact Maria would have for Puerto Rico.
Hillary Clinton had earlier taken to Twitter to criticize the Trump administration’s response to the devastation in Puerto Rico. She wrote:
“President Trump, Sec. Mattis, and DOD should send the Navy, including the USNS Comfort, to Puerto Rico now. These are American citizens.”
A White House official said President Donald Trump has pledged federal help for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, adding that Trump is planning to visit Puerto Rico, although a date has not been set because of infrastructure concerns on the island.
Hurricane Maria was the third major storm to hit U.S. shores in just a month, after Hurricanes Irma and Harvey wreaked havoc across the Caribbean and southeastern U.S.