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Macron vows to rebuild Caribbean quickly

Macron vows to rebuild Caribbean quickly”

French President Emmanuel Macron came under criticism for his government's handling of the crisis.

But Macron, who is due to head home Wednesday, insisted that "it wouldn't have been possible to have had better anticipation".

British billionaire Richard Branson, who rode out the hurricane in his wine cellar on his private Necker Island, wrote on his blog that Europe must have a vital role in the reconstruction and recovery of the region.

"The UK is going to be with you for the long term", Johnson told residents in a video message.

Foreign Minister Boris Johnson has rejected the criticism, calling it "completely unjustified".

The Netherlands' King Willem Alexander is expected to visit the affected region on Sunday. He was scheduled to fly later Tuesday to the nearby Dutch islands of Saba and St Eustatius, which also were hit by Irma, but suffered less damage than St Maarten. Nearly half of the island's hospitals were using generators to remain open.

Extra search and rescue experts were also heading to the Dutch territory, where the Red Cross said 200 people were registered as missing.

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.

The island is divided between French St. Martin and Dutch St. Maarten, where the Dutch government estimated Saturday that 70 percent of houses were badly damaged or destroyed, leaving much of the 40,000 population in public shelters as they braced for the arrival of Jose.

British junior foreign minister Alan Duncan said 100 prisoners escaped in the British Virgin Islands during the hurricane. That brings the death toll of Irma in the Leeward Islands and Cuba to at least 38.

Federal officials deployed C-130s to evacuate USA citizens from the French Caribbean island of St. Martin to Puerto Rico.

Almost a day after Irma hit Turks and Caicos, government officials and families still haven't heard anything from Grand Turk, South Caicos and Salt Cay, hit directly by Irma's eye.

Meanwhile in the USA police have taken to shaming looters they captured, taking a picture of them as they sit in a cell.

Cindy Peters, a volunteer with the Sint Marteen Tallahassee Association, said she and her 60 exchange students from the island are all anxiously checking social media for updates on their friends and family back home. "People are fighting in the streets for what is left". "They had to set up militias and take turns defending themselves" against looters, she said.

Briton Claudia Knight said her partner Leo Whitting, 38, was stranded on Tortola, one of the British Virgin Islands. One ship, the HMS Ocean, is being diverted to the Caribbean until Hurricane Jose passes, after which it will return for relief efforts.

"Leo carries a knife with him".

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

Boris Johnson, the United Kingdom foreign secretary, also traveled to the Caribbean to visit British territories devastated by Irma.

Opposition figures have accused Macron's fledgling government of bungling the response to the disaster, with radical left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon calling for a parliamentary inquiry.

There has also been criticism of the Dutch response.



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