Dutch government: 70% of homes on St. Martin badly damaged or destroyed

Dutch government: 70% of homes on St. Martin badly damaged or destroyed

Both the French and Dutch governments have come under criticism over delays in their responses to the crisis and in particular over how they handled outbreaks of looting on St Barthelemy and St Martin, an island with both French and Dutch sectors.

In Curacao, officials are helping to coordinate a military operation to deliver supplies to the 40 000-strong population of St Maarten - which shares an island with the French territory of St Martin.

Earlier on Monday, Interior Minister Gerrard Collomb said Macron would announce measures aimed "to prepare the future" of Saint Martin, the island that Irma had totally ravaged during its path.

The Dutch government was blamed for delayed flights of people who were stranded.

His plane brought water, food, medicine and emergency equipment, doctors and recovery experts to an island demolished by the power of the Category 5 hurricane.

Koenders said he also would appeal for help from the United Nations for the islands.

About 1,500 troops, police and emergency workers were on the ground to help islanders, and 500 others were expected to arrive in the coming days, according to French authorities.

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.

Four people were killed on the U.S. Virgin Islands, three in Puerto Rico and one in Barbuda. "I have never seen anything like this, and I have seen quite a lot of nature's force and the violence of war".

A sits on a porch on the destroyed Philipsburg after the passing of Hurricane Irma in St. Martin, Monday, September 11, 2017.

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

Willem-Alexander was flying Tuesday to the nearby Dutch islands of Saba and St. Eustatius, which also were hit by Irma but suffered less damage than St. Martin.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson defended his Government's response to what he called an "unprecedented catastrophe" and promised to increase funding for the relief effort. "These are British people, these are British overseas territories, and we are going to be there for the long term", Johnson said.

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