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Horsham man helps rescue effort in aftermath of Hurricane Irma

Horsham man helps rescue effort in aftermath of Hurricane Irma”

Businessman Branson, who has lived in the British Virgin Islands for the past 11 years, said in a blog post on www.virgin.com that the region needed a "Disaster Recovery Marshall Plan" to rebuild and revitalize its economy - a reference to the multibillion-dollar US program that helped rebuild Western Europe after the devastation of World War Two.

St. John resident Stephanie Stevens told NPR of a school pulled apart, its roof looking "like somebody took the individual sheets of metal and twisted it like a washcloth before they threw it everywhere all over the ground".

Branson states further that Virgin Atlantic's Antigua flight was, on Thursday, loaded with essential items, "including blankets and bottled water to help in the recovery efforts".

The storm had killed three people when it struck the southern Florida Keys island chain as a more powerful Category Four on Sunday.

Hurricane-strength winds later were recorded in the northern half of Camaguey province, the agency said.

It's winds are now at 130 miles per hour (215 km/h), weakened some over land, but the NHC expect it to strengthen once again when it distances itself from Cuba in route to Florida.

There also was widespread damage to Varadero, Cuba's main beach resort for foreigners. Many residents there have been evacuated ahead of Jose.

Emmanuel Macron will leave Monday night for the Caribbean island of St. Martin to show his support for the relief effort, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the State Department continues to coordinate evacuation efforts for USA citizens who remain on St. Martin, through social media, radio and in reaching out to hotels and Airbnb locations, a spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.

In St. Martin, formerly lush green hills were stripped to a brown stubble and the smell of rotting debris spread across the French Caribbean territory of 40,000 people. The estimate includes damages to homes, vehicles and businesses - including operating losses - which are covered by the natural disaster compensation scheme, CCR said Saturday.

But the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has said its ability to provide assistance to British citizens may be "extremely limited" and advised those affected to make their own contingency plans.

The British territory's governor Gus Jaspert overnight warned of "casualties and fatalities" on the islands.

Earlier in the day, the mainly British guests on inclusive package tours with operator Thomas Cook had cleaned up the pool, put sunbeds back in their place and helped workers clear away the fallen trees and branches, everyone mucking in. "I am truly heartbroken by this news".

Irma, which was downgraded to a tropical storm on Monday, is centred about 170km north-northwest of Tampa area of Florida, with sustained winds of about 110km/h as of 9:00 am local time (13:00 GMT). Hundreds of thousands of people remained without power on Friday.

Malone also credits national media outlets for eventually taking notice, including airing a White House press conference on Puerto Rico's and the Virgin Islands' statuses.



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