British FM Johnson flying to Caribbean after criticism of Irma aid

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Boris Johnson has strongly defended the UK's response to Hurricane Irma after it was labelled "pitiful" by the father of a British tourist trapped on St Martin. It made the Dutch side of St. Martin uninhabitable, with no electricity or drinking water, and caused massive destruction to the French side of the island, Saint-Martin, and to St. Barts.

He added that HMS Ocean, Britain's biggest warship in service, is heading to the Caribbean and should be there within 10 days.

His trip comes after the United Kingdom government was criticised for its perceived slow and inadequate response to help affected communities in its overseas territories.

The U.S. Army National Guard worked to shuttle food and equipment to and from the island by aircraft based in St. Croix. He told the House of Commons there were 997 troops and 47 police officers in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

Another woman asked: "Why are you here?"

Some of the victims had ignored instructions to evacuate, it said.

Johnson arrived Tuesday in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, where he met with some of the almost 1,000 military personnel sent to bolster relief efforts and security.

Barbuda, Anguilla, the Virgin Islands, and Cuba were hit by the worst of the storm, with some islands reporting that 90% of their structures were damaged or destroyed.

He has dismissed the criticism as "completely unjustified", calling the relief effort "unprecedented".

Among the scenes in this imagery are damaged homes, new cuts in beaches and thousands of defoliated trees. The islands saw significant devastation.

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Over six and a half million people in Florida were told to evacuate in the face of the hurricane over the weekend, the winds that arrived there were gauged at being in excess of 150 miles per hour.

"The security situation remains precarious, but seems to steadily be improving", he said. Five people died and severe damage occurred on multiple islands.

The death toll from Irma stood at more than 40.

"No power, no running water, no cell service", said Elizabeth Smith, an island resident who described the aftermath to NPR.

"That period of time is the time that we have to do whatever we need: water, food, gasoline", she said. "Everybody has got to be patient as we work through this". "Only social media and solidarity worked", said the woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"People are fighting in the streets for what is left". "Everyone in our neighborhood is walking around with sharpened machetes and guns for protection".

Dutch King Willem-Alexander, who visited Dutch territories on Monday, spoke of his horror at what he found.

"There is an endemic problem on the island, that preexisted this crisis, which is weapons", he said.

Today, AP employs the latest technology to collect and distribute content - we have daily uploads covering the latest and breaking news in the world of politics, sport and entertainment. Everyone's turned feral and no-one's going out without being armed.

She told the Press Association: "I honestly thought he was dead".