Hurricane Irma leaves trail of devastation on Barbuda island

Kristopher Drake
September 14, 2017

Just days after Irma slammed the island, St. Martin is under a hurricane watch again for the powerful Category 4 Hurricane Jose.

On Tuesday, children's charity UNICEF said the worldwide community should have a role to play in the relief effort.

However as Caribbean leaders met to discuss the situation in the United Kingdom there was loud criticism of Britain's response to Irma. "Normally in this situation there would be an worldwide appeal".

The Dutch Red Cross has raised €3.2 million ($3.8 million) for the devastated islands in under a week.

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency reported four hurricane-related deaths in the British territory.

The new hurricane was 125 kilometres from Saint Martin, 95 percent of which has already been ravaged by Hurricane Irma, which struck Wednesday and reached Florida yesterday.

"I can not describe or even imagine going through something like this again and to be on the verge of it again is absolutely terrifying", Bender said. When Irma hit St Martin, she huddled for four hours in a hotel bathroom, hearing furniture being tossed around her room.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson defended his government's response to what he called an "unprecedented catastrophe" and promised to increase funding for the relief effort.

Marlin said many countries and people have offered help to St. Maarten, but authorities are waiting on the weather conditions to see how this can be coordinated.

There are just under 500 troops now in the region, made up of marines, engineers, medics and specialists, including Army and Royal Air Force personnel, the Foreign Office said. Another navy ship has been deployed and will be active next week.

"It's good to have a drink, laugh and think about other things", Tchuisseu said. "That's the problem, everyone has their own problems at the moment", Cluff said.


Many local residents were discovering that self-help is sometimes the most efficient.

About a million people, including tens of thousands of tourists, were evacuated ahead of the storm.

"One by one everyone went quiet". Photos and video of St. Martin circulating on social media showed major damage to the Philipsburg airport and heavy flooding in the coastal village of Marigot, according to the AP. "My wife and I were paralyzed by this feeling of powerlessness", he told CNN on Tuesday. But officials and people in the streets seem to have different definitions of "security".

"I maxed out my credit card and emptied my savings". Those who get to leave are very happy.

Blondel Cluff, Anguilla's representative to the U.S. and the European Union, told CNN that 15,000 people were now stranded on the island and dependent on humanitarian aid for their basic needs. The island is shared between a French territory and the former Dutch colony of St. Maarten, a largely autonomous part of the Dutch kingdom with a population of around 40,000. The head of state has been highly criticized by the opposition for its mismanagement of Hurricane Irma.

The amphibious assault USS Wasp evacuated hospital patients from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands to St. Croix and Puerto Rico.

"(We're missing) gas for vehicles, diesel gas for generators, diesel gas for all the trucks and front loaders needed to clear the rubble". She said that at the Airbnb they had left, the roof caved in from the storm.

Newlywed Frances Bradley-Villier said all that was left in St. Martin was "devastation".

"I've seen proper war as well as natural disasters before, but I've never seen anything like this", he told Dutch radio on Tuesday.

"It's very awful right now. They had to set up militias and take turns defending themselves (against looters)", she said. About 1,500 troops, police and emergency workers are now on the ground and some 500 others were expected to arrive in the coming days, according to French authorities. Among the hardest hit islands were the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, plus Antigua and Barbuda.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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