French leader to go to hurricane-hit St. Martin

Toppled Cranes Floods and More See

Toppled Cranes Floods and More See

Relief efforts are underway, with Dutch troops delivering water to the devastated Caribbean island of 40,000 residents. Earlier this week, Johnson defended the government's response amid claims it was slow to help the British overseas territories, saying there had been an "unprecedented" effort to deal with the aftermath of the storm.

Boats wrecked by Irma are seen in Geminga shipyard in Saint-Martin island.

Speaking on CNN, Stacey Plaskett, delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives for the U.S. Virgin Islands, said there was no real looting occurring, but rather desperate people scrambling for scarce supplies. The region's isolation gave way to desperation as residents scavenged for food and drinking water-leading to media reports of "looting".

But Anguilla's former attorney general, Rupert Jones, criticized Britain's response to the disaster.

Johnson told BBC's Today programme: "I sympathise with the distress of all the families in the Caribbean, but I must point out we have had half a million British nationals in the path of this hurricane.this is a very big consular crisis and I am confident we are doing everything we can to help British nationals, but there are half a million affected".

He will first visit Guadeloupe, an overseas department of France, on Tuesday morning before heading to the French-Dutch island of St. Martin to meet with residents, and then to St. Barts.

The French government has said it would take at least three months for water distribution to normalize.

Marlin said many countries and people have offered help to St. Maarten, but authorities are waiting on the weather conditions to see how this can be coordinated.

Macron pledged to rebuild St. Martin as a "model" for withstanding future storms.

In a statement, EDF said the equipment — transported from mainland France via two large aircraft — arrived Sunday in neighboring Guadeloupe.

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

Four people have lost their lives on the Dutch side of St Martin, known as Sint Maarten.

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 French and Dutch governments said they were sending in extra troops to restore order.

Several Israelis complained yesterday about being trapped in Saint Martin, which was badly damaged by Irma last week. "More specifically, I have come so that I can be beside those who have overcome fear and anxiety, who have lost almost everything except family members", Macron said during a conference in Marigot.

Dutch King Willem-Alexander will leave Sunday for the island of Curacao to be briefed on relief operations around the Caribbean.

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