70 percent of St. Maarten homes badly damaged by Irma

St. Martin's residents struggle with desperate conditions

Most of the island of St. Martin is either severely damaged or destroyed.

According to a provisional death toll, Irma killed 10 people in the French part of Saint Martin and in nearby island of Saint Barthelemy. The government did not release details about the victims.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said he believes the European Union should send relief funds to both the French and the Dutch sides of the island, despite their differing relationships to their former colonial powers.

Residents on the island have spoken of hunger, homelessness, a lack of water and a feeling of abandonment after the hurricane pummeled the region on Wednesday.

The most powerful storm in a century killed nine people in French Caribbean islands.

Priority in evacuation to Guadeloupe or mainland France will be given to vulnerable people whose homes are uninhabitable, including the elderly and families with young children.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe angrily accused politicians of trying to capitalise on the hurricane, calling for "solidarity with our citizens, many of whom have lost everything".

Dutch King Willem-Alexander will leave Sunday for the island of Curacao to be briefed on relief operations around the Caribbean. "I have never seen anything like this, and I have seen quite a lot of nature's force and the violence of war".

He said he was encouraged to see residents already working together to rebuild the shattered capital, Philipsburg.

This photo provided by the Dutch Defense Ministry shows storm damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, on the Dutch side of St. Martin.

The Dutch Department of Defense tweeted videos of troops delivering water to the island of Saba on Saturday.

The British government has been accused of being slow to respond to subjects in Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Prime Minister Theresa May has yet to announce any visits to the region. He was expected to reach Barbados on Tuesday.

Britain has pledged £32-million (R546-million) in aid and sent hundreds of troops, supplies and rescue equipment on several flights to the British territories in the Caribbean since Friday.

The French and Dutch governments were slammed over the delayed response to the crisis which resulted in at least 11 people died and over 60 percent of homes in St Martin being uninhabitable.

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