French, British officials view Irma's damage, vow island aid

Thursday, 14 September 2017, 04:47:11 AM. MARIGOT, St. Martin — French and British officials promised to beef up emergency and long-term aid to their countries' stricken Caribbean territories after seeing firsthand the devastation wrought by Hurricane Irma.British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Wednesday Britain must move quickly to help as Prime Minister Theresa May told Parliament an extra 25 million pounds ($33 million) would be
MARIGOT, St. Martin — French and British officials promised to beef up emergency and long-term aid to their countries' stricken Caribbean territories after seeing firsthand the devastation wrought by Hurricane Irma. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Wednesday Britain must move quickly to help as Prime Minister Theresa May told Parliament an extra 25 million pounds ($33 million) would be made available on top of the 32 million already pledged. "This is going to be a big, big job," Johnson said as he made his way through the water-damaged rooms of a hospital on the island of Anguilla. He said Britain needs "to put the pedal to the metal" to get things back to normal. French President Emmanuel Macron inspected the damage to St. Barts and met with local officials there on Wednesday after spending the night sleeping on a camp cot in neighboring St. Martin, which was hit particularly hard. Chagrined leaders have rebuffed criticism that former colonial powers have not moved quickly enough to help citizens in their Caribbean territories after the hurricane left thousands of homes, businesses and public buildings in ruins. Some of the tourism-dependent islands, after days without electricity and with food and water supplies, have drifted close to lawlessness. The security situation in the British Virgin Islands was exacerbated by the escape of more than 100 inmates from a prison "breached" by Irma. Alarmed British authorities deemed the situation "very serious," but did not...Read more
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