Hurricane Irma caused $1.4B in damages on French islands, insurer estimates

13 September, 2017, 14:37 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • A U.S. Navy search and rescue helicopter team operates on St. Thomas

Now, satellite images provided by DigitalGlobe show aerial before-and-after images of Irma's wrath in the Florida Keys and the Caribbean.

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 global airport on the sandy keys popular with Europeans and Canadians.

"We've been here since six in the morning and we're still waiting, under a blazing sun", said one woman in a crowd of people hoping to leave as soon as possible.

The entire Caribbean region saw at least 38 deaths as a result of Hurricane Irma.

"This will help get water, food, shelter and power to those left devastated by Hurricane Irma", she added.

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Macron's plane touched down in Saint Martin as anger grew over looting and lawlessness in the French-Dutch territory after Hurricane Irma.

In the US Virgin Islands, farther west, Saint Thomas resident Nate Fifer said the majority of houses have been destroyed.

So far, some 700 United Kingdom troops, 50 police and over 20 tonnes of aid have been sent to the Caribbean islands devastated by last week's hurricane - the most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade.

"We had a serious threat of a complete breakdown of law and order in the British Virgin islands (BVI)", junior foreign minister Alan Duncan told parliament.

The hurricane, which was later downgraded from a Category 5 to a Category 2 storm, also hit Florida, where another 12 people were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced.

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Johnson told BBC's Today programme: "I sympathise with the distress of all the families in the Caribbean, but I must point out we have had half a million British nationals in the path of this hurricane.this is a very big consular crisis and I am confident we are doing everything we can to help British nationals, but there are half a million affected". 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. "They had to set up militias and take turns defending themselves" against looters, she said.

"There is a unusual mood at the moment in Saint-Martin, so we need to think about public order".

The British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean are highly dependent on aid, making them what The Times called "an expensive legacy of empire".

"I've never experienced anything like this before and I've seen a lot of natural disasters in my life".

To the east, in the Leeward Islands known as the playground for the rich and famous, governments came under criticism for failing to respond quickly to the hurricane, which flattened many towns and turned lush, green hills to a brown stubble.

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