European leaders step up Irma relief effort in Caribbean

Frederick Owens
September 13, 2017

However as Caribbean leaders met to discuss the situation in the United Kingdom there was loud criticism of Britain's response to Irma.

Irma was packing 160 miles per hour (260 kph) winds when it made landfall in Cuba, the first storm of that power to reach the island since 1932, and it caused major damage to tourist infrastructure including an worldwide airport on the sandy keys popular with Europeans and Canadians.

Consequently, Hurricane "Irma" left 38 people dead in total.

At least 24 people have been killed.

With maximum sustained winds of 298kph, Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc across several countries before weakening as it made landfall along the coast of Florida.

French and Dutch police have sent extra police to St Martin to hep curb the looting on the island.

On the U.S. Virgin Islands, residents were lining up for food being dropped by American military helicopters.

Anguilla, Turks and Caicos, and the British Virgin Islands (BVI) are among 14 British overseas territories which are all self-governing but the British government is responsible for their defence and security with a duty to protect them from natural disasters.

New images from NASA's GOES-16 satellite shows Irma's deadly path with the video also capturing hurricane Jose. Her husband, who is still there, told her that residents and tourists are in shock.

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UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has pledged to be there "in the long term" for British people whose Caribbean homes have been ripped apart by the storm. Damage was limited in Puerto Rico, although much of the population of 3.4 million lost electrical power and at least 56,000 were without water.

The death toll from Irma stood at more than 40.

"The prison was breached, over 100 very serious prisoners escaped".

"We put the music on to bring stress levels down and so the clients feel better", said Juan Carlos Varcas, 30, a Cuban salsa teacher at the hotel.

"We have had some help from the Americans but they of course have their own problems".

But many on the island were struggling to maintain a semblance of the normality they had before Irma.

Lauren Boquette, a 48-year-old restaurant manager on St John, said his family had barricaded themselves in the bathroom of their home.

"A further 10,000 buckets, 2,500 solar lanterns and 300 shelter kits will be arriving this week on commercial flights", Duncan said.

The Caribbean's Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) had been quickly activated, accompanied by aid and support from the UK, US, Canadian, French and Dutch governments.

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