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Residents of the Turks and Caicos Islands on Thursday hunkered down for Hurricane Irma Cheap Colin Miller Jersey , which has smashed through a string of Caribbean islands as one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century, killing at least 14 people en route to Florida.

With winds of around 185 miles per hour (290 km per hour), the storm the size of France has ravaged small islands in the northeast Caribbean in recent days, including Barbuda, Saint Martin and the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, ripping down trees and flattening homes and hospitals.

  View of the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Sint Maarten Dutch part of Saint Martin island in the Caribbean September 7 Cheap Deryk Engelland Jersey , 2017. Netherlands Ministry of DefenceHandout via REUTERS

Winds dipped on Thursday to 175 mph as the Irma soaked the northern coasts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti and brought hurricane-force wind to the Turks and Caicos Islands. It remained an extremely dangerous Category 5 storm, the highest designation by the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Irma was about 40 miles (65 km) south of Turks and Caicos and is expected to reach the Bahamas later Thursday, before moving to Cuba and plowing into southern Florida as a very powerful Category 4 on Sunday, with storm surges and flooding due to begin within the next 48 hours.

Across the Caribbean authorities rushed to evacuate tens of thousands of residents and tourists in the path of the storm, while on islands in its wake, shocked locals tried to comprehend the extent of the devastation while simultaneously preparing for another major hurricane Cheap Marc-Andre Fleury Jersey , Jose, currently a Category 3 and due to hit the northeastern Caribbean on Saturday.

It was the first time the Turks and Caicos islands had experienced a Category 5 storm, said Virginia Clerveaux, director of Disaster Management and Emergencies.

“We are expecting inundation from both rainfall as well as storm surge. And we may not be able to come rescue them in a timely manner,” she said in comments broadcast on Facebook.

The few tourists who remained on the Turks and Caicos islands were in hotels, as were some locals.

“Right now I‘m at the hotel with my family. There are a lot of people in the hotel. It’s boarded up Cheap James Neal Jersey ,” said island resident Sofia Simmons, speaking from the Royal West Indies Hotel on Providenciales island. “Most of our shelters are packed to capacity. We had to open more shelters.”

HOHHOT, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- An initiative calling on global youth to combat desertification was adopted Friday in north China.

Global Youth Initiative for Combating Desertification was adopted at the Youth Forum of the United Nations desertification conference in Ordos City, in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The initiative defined young people's specific responsibilities and proposed strengthening young people's engagement in combatting desertification.

"We are the new forces to drive change with fresh ideas, innovative technology, inventive methods and means that can eradicate poverty and pave the way to a new sustainable economy Cheap Vegas Golden Knights Hats ," said the initiative.

It also suggested that young people should join online and offline platforms for national and international dialogue, consultations, social media campaigns and volunteering in supporting land degradation neutrality.

The one-day forum was held during the 13th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) that opened on Wednesday.

Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, said that young people will be the next generation in combatting desertification, which takes courage Cheap Vegas Golden Knights Hoodies , hard work and vision.

Youth representatives from 25 countries and more than ten international organizations discussed about the challenges and opportunities of young people engaging in sustainable land management.

"Young people should work with each other from different organizations and projects, and integrate desertification work with climate change and biodiversity," said Lorena Terrazas from Bolivia.

Oliver Gardner from Britain, suggested that good story-telling is needed to get young people in non-affected countries interested.

The UN desertification conference will last about two weeks, and its main task is to seek solutions for the UN sustainable goal of "achieving a land degradation neural world by 2030" and to develop a new UNCCD strategy framework for the 2018-2030 period.

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