British aid presence 'ratcheting up' in hurricane-hit Caribbean - Johnson

Posted September 14, 2017

He told the House of Commons there were 997 troops and 47 police officers in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

He is 55-year old Derek Ragnath, formerly of Mahaica Public Road near the police station.

Ragnath's family members were not with him when disaster struck.

A man from Horsham is among a British disaster response team now in the British Virgin Islands helping to cope with the apocalyptic aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Though there are few cloud-free satellite images of the area so far, a NASA satellite captured natural images of the USA and British Virgin Islands before and after the storm. A tropical storm watch was in effect for the British Virgin Islands as of Saturday morning.

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Asked why the United Kingdom had not airlifted its citizens out of the area before the hurricane struck, the Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "We are talking about a huge number of British citizens who are in the path of this hurricane, and we are doing everything we can to help them".

"We had a serious threat of a complete breakdown of law and order in the British Virgin Islands (BVI)", junior foreign minister Alan Duncan said to Parliament. As for the island of Necker island and Mosquito, the buildings have been destroyed, but the people seem to be going well so far.

The Foreign Secretary's visit was praised by Anguillan chief minister Victor Banks, who said it "sends a very positive signal to Anguillians that the British are serious about their response".

Five died on the British Virgin Islands and four more on neighbouring Anguilla.

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May also announced the government would be increasing the relief fund for British Overseas Territories left devastated by Irma from £12m to £32m.

Our thoughts are with all those affected by Irma which at the time of hitting St. Thomas was a category 5 and among the largest Atlantic storms ever recorded.

Richard also revealed how he sheltered himself from the storm.

Mr Johnson said there are now 1,000 troops which have been deployed, with this figure set to increase to 1,250 in the coming days.

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Speaking to the Press Association news agency en route to the Caribbean, Johnson said: "What they're seeing is an unprecedented United Kingdom response, but I want to stress it is not just for the short-term, we are going to be there for the long term as well". French President Emmanuel Macron planned to survey damage on the French-controlled portion of St. Martin; the other side of the island, St. Maarten, is controlled by the Netherlands.