Cuba cleans up after Hurricane Irma tears through Caribbean

Cuba cleans up after Hurricane Irma tears through Caribbean

The isolated region of the British Virgin Islands means support is not close by, Branson said.

Irma made U.S. landfall in Key West, then again on Marcos Island on the USA state of Florida's Gulf Coast.

As Florida begins to pick-up the pieces after Hurricane Irma, many islands in the Caribbean have already seen the scope of the devastation.

As Irma made its way toward the U.S. mainland on Sunday afternoon, the last remaining hurricane warning in Cuba was discontinued for the provinces of Matanzas and La Habana. Do you have any sense of what the worst hit is? Gaston Browne, prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, called the destruction "heart-wrenching".

Irma caused roughly 1.2 billion euros ($1.44 billion) of insured damage in the French portion of St. Martin and in St. Barts, French state-owned insurer CCR said Saturday.

The CDEMA also has launched an emergency relief fund for donations to help the islands affected by Irma.

Fernandez added that 17,000 tourists rode out the storm there, including more than 3,000 who were part of an evacuation of keys farther to the east that took a direct blow from Irma.

Victor Banks said the £32 million pledged in aid to territories in the region is "significant", but added "it is not enough" and estimated the bill to fix his island's infrastructure alone could reach £1 billion. The Conservative Tom Tugendhat and Labour's Stephen Twigg, who chair the foreign affairs and development committees respectively, wrote on Friday that the British response "requires improvement" and said that it demonstrated an "apparent lack of forward-thinking".

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The Associated Press reported that Dutch King Willem-Alexander flew to St. Maarten, which shares the island with the French dependency of St. Martin, and toured the heavily damaged Princess Juliana International Airport that is named for his grandmother.

Here are some before and after photos of the damage Irma brought.

More police and soldiers were patrolling the streets following reports of looting, and authorities set up 1,500 emergency shelters.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson planned a trip to survey the Caribbean after family members of those stranded said their relatives were starving and alone. He said many were seeking to leave St. Thomas, but that was not an option for him.

The US and British Virgin Islands were also pummeled by Irma.

Anguilla, Turks and Caicos, and the British Virgin Islands (BVI) are among 14 British overseas territories which are all self-governing but the British government is responsible for their defence and security with a duty to protect them from natural disasters.

From there Irma slammed into the French/Dutch Island of St. Martin/St. Maarten, where residents described an even more frightening situation that left four dead.

Puerto Rico, an unincorporated USA territory, managed to avoid a direct hit from Irma but suffered strong winds and torrential rains.

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