French leader to go to hurricane-hit St. Martin

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French leader to go to hurricane-hit St. Martin

The ravaged French Caribbean islands of Saint Martin and Saint Barts braced on Saturday (Sept 9) for a second potentially devastating hurricane as shellshocked residents scrambled for safety while air and sea links were severed.

Macron's plane touched down in St. Martin as anger grew over looting and lawlessness in the French-Dutch territory after Hurricane Irma. The New York Times reported that people searched for necessities at grocery stores over the weekend, with fights eventually breaking out amid the food shortage. The electricity supply has also been badly hit, authorities said.

Johana Soudiagom was disturbed to find herself among a tiny handful of non-whites evacuated by boat to nearby Guadeloupe after Irma devastated the island.

Most residents have been moved to the neighbouring island of Antigua. "People are walking around with weapons, but I can't confirm there are machetes", De Vin said.

"When such a thing happens, life is never the same again".

St Barts is a French overseas territory, as is the French part of St Martin, which is divided between France and the Netherlands.

The Netherlands, UK and U.S. have also been criticised for the response to destruction on the Carribbean islands caused by the Category 5 hurricane.

"It's been very useful to see for myself what awful damage this storm has done and in this way to also show the population of St. Martin and the governor and prime minister that we stand together here as a kingdom and that we will solve this together", he told journalists.

The British have no military bases in the Caribbean, while the French have a 1,000-man garrison on Martinique, and the Dutch have a permanent naval base on Curaçao. Electricity was restored at Anguilla hospital within days and nearly 1,000 military personnel have been deployed to the Carribbean, Mr Duncan said. Another navy ship has been deployed and will be active next week.

According to the latest official figures, Irma left 10 people dead and seven missing on the French islands, four dead on Dutch territories and six dead on British ones.

Alasdair Pinkerton, a senior lecturer in geography and geopolitics at the Royal Holloway University of London, said Britain's overseas model made it hard for Britain to respond quickly to crises like Hurricane Irma. "You could put all the people back in Barbuda today. but then you'll have a medical crisis on your hand", Foreign Affairs Minister Charles Fernandez said.

Her husband, Dominique Vilier, told CNN there had been looting and robbing in the wake of the hurricane, which has left them without food and water.

In images broadcast by Dutch national network NOS, Willem-Alexander says, "I've never experienced anything like this before and I've seen a lot of natural disasters in my life".

As Macron headed to St. Martin, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb announced that France was now working on delivering water to affected neighborhoods across the island.

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