United Kingdom government increases support for victims of Irma

Sep 14, 2017, 00:13
United Kingdom government increases support for victims of Irma

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is to fly to the Caribbean to visit the British territories devastated by Hurricane Irma. What I do know is that I am scared.

"I have seen proper war as well as natural disasters before, but I've never seen anything like this", he said.

Meanwhile, Sir Richard Branson has said most of the buildings and vegetation on Necker, which is among the 50 British Virgin Islands, had been destroyed or badly damaged by Hurricane Irma. When it first hit Florida, it was still a Category 4 hurricane.

"St. Martin will be reborn, I promise", he said.

Chaos still reigned in much of the storm-tossed Caribbean on Monday, as food and water shortages, power outages and rampant looting across several islands sparked angry criticism from residents who demanded more government help.

Britain's Defence Minister Michael Fallon at the weekend said his government's effort was "as good as anybody else's".

"We had to fend for ourselves", he told Reuters.

Scott Baker, whose daughter Amy Brown is stranded in St Martin, an island that comprises of the French territory of Saint-Martin and the Dutch section of Sint-Maarten, said he felt "totally abandoned" by the United Kingdom government. Picture taken September 10, 2017.

United Kingdom government increases support for victims of Irma

More than six million people in Florida and Georgia have been warned to leave their homes as the National Hurricane Centre warned the storm will bring "life-threatening" wind, with forecasters predicting storm surges of up to 15 ft.

This effort started last Saturday and Ben Steed, who co-founded the Virgin Islands Relief effort, says it will continue.

"The ship moved to BVI (British Virgin Islands) and got the airfield operating again".

The Foreign Secretary is expected to visit the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla, two of the worst-hit territories, where nine people were killed.

The premier of the British Virgin Islands, Orlando Smith, also appealed for urgent aid from Britain, saying the situation was critical and calling for a comprehensive package.

"Can the minister confirm that when the Government sits down with their counterparts in the affected islands, the question of coping with climate change and future extreme weather events will be at the top of the agenda with financial commitments to match, not as usually happens, the afterthought which always proves too hard and too expensive".

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

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