PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to quickly rebuild the islands of the French Caribbean during a visit on Tuesday meant to dispel anger at his government’s response to Hurricane Irma, which killed at least 43 people in the region.
The clutch of Caribbean islands hardest hit by the storm were mainly overseas territories belonging to Britain, France and the Netherlands, whose tens of thousands of residents are European Union citizens. The U.S. Virgin Islands were also hard hit.
Countries - United - States - Troops - Aid
European countries and the United States have sent troops to deliver aid and provide security after the storm toppled homes and hospitals, but locals and tourists short of food or shelter say help was slow to arrive.
Macron, who is also facing the first test at home of his resolve to reform the economy with a day of protests against his labor reforms, denied that authorities reacted too slowly.
Services - Region - Irma - Law - Order
Basic services in the region were lost after Irma, weakening law and order, and looting erupted on some islands. Haiti’s government said on Tuesday more than 10,000 people were in shelters after heavy rains flooded the former French colony.
Britain was forced to reinforce its marines on the British Virgin Islands after more than 100 “very serious” inmates escaped after a prison was breached in the storm, Alan Duncan, Britain’s minister for Europe and the Americas, said on Tuesday.
It was not clear if the prisoners had been captured.
Macron was due to travel on Tuesday to St. Martin, an island France shares with the Netherlands that suffered some of the worst devastation from Irma....
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