United Kingdom defends hurricane response as critics say it's too slow

Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter landing Tortola airport on the British Virgin Islands
Credit PA  Royal Navy  MoD Crown

Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter landing Tortola airport on the British Virgin Islands Credit PA Royal Navy MoD Crown

"The whole world should be scrambling to get on top of the climate change issue before it is too late - for this generation, let alone the generations to come", said Branson.

To the east, in the Leeward Islands known as the playground for the rich and famous, many criticized governments for failing to respond quickly to the hurricane, which flattered many towns and stripped the lush green hills to a brown stubble.

According to the technical director of the Electricity Union of Cuba, Lazaro Guerra, the island's electrical system was seriously damaged.

Now, Branson, who referred to Hurricane Irma as "the storm of the century" in an update on his website Friday, warned, "but another one is coming".

He said: "I am writing from Puerto Rico, where I have travelled in order to further mobilise aid efforts and rebuilding plans for the British Virgin Islands and wider Caribbean". "An event of this magnitude is very chilling".

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Richard also revealed how he sheltered himself from the storm.

"Classified by the experts as the greatest hurricane ever to have formed in the Atlantic, this meteorological phenomenon has caused severe damage to the country, which, precisely because of the storm's wingspan, we still have not been able to quantify", the President said in a statement published on the Internet. With petrol running out and tensions rising, the Florida Highway Patrol escorted tanker trucks sent to replenish gas stations.

At least 34 people were reportedly killed across the region, including 10 in Cuba, whose northern coast was raked by the storm.

"The water rushed in and knocked down our door", said Olga, as she took all her soaked belongings out of her house to dry in the returning sunshine.

The spokesman said the United Kingdom had been able to provide assistance with strategic airlift capacity in response to a French request for help, with an RAF C17 being used to fly helicopters to the region.

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Two Dutch navy ships were in St. Martin with vital supplies. Looting and lawlessness were reported Saturday by both French and Dutch authorities, who were sending in extra troops to restore order.

More than 1,000 military personnel are now in the region, with another 200 due to arrive within days, along with more than 60 police officers, she said.

On Barbuda, nearly every building was damaged when the hurricane's core crossed almost directly over the island early Wednesday.

In Anguilla, officials reported extensive damage to the airport, hospitals, shelters and schools and said 90 per cent of roads were impassable. Gaston Browne, prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, called the destruction "heart-wrenching". The road to recovery will be hard - that's obvious, even from space.

"I don't want to panic anyone but it's really important people are aware of the situation there", Sam said.

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