Hurricane Irma looting: Caribbean Chaos as prisoners escape and looters run riot

As we reported Branson and his crew weathered the storm from a basement and they all survived

"This story is about the tens of thousands of people who have lost their homes and their livelihoods".

Many live in the US and British Virgin Islands and were heading from San Juan to the USA mainland to leave their children with relatives and then go back home to resume work so they can keep providing for their loved ones.

Briton Claudia Knight said her partner Leo Whitting, 38, was stranded on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands archipelago.

You know, I've been talking to people around the region - talking to officials, pilots, relief crews - and this word that I'm hearing from them is, you know, it's really bad in some places and nearly every building destroyed.

Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk on Monday visited St. Martin, reviewing the damage done to the battered island with local leaders.

Utility crews and U.S. Marines have been moving through the isle and clearing downed power lines and bulldozing muck from the streets. The unit recently sent two aircraft to Texas for five days in response to Hurricane Harvey where they flew a total of six missions, moving 29,000 pounds of cargo.

SAM BLACK: I will say that all the airports are flooded with people wanting to get off the island. "It is clear to me creating jobs is paramount - there will be a huge amount of rebuilding to be done and people will need work to help rebuild their lives as well as their homes", Branson said in his blog. Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda told reporters that Barbuda was reduced to "literally a rubble", as over 95 percent of the island's buildings were damaged, leaving almost 60 percent of its residents homeless.

As he travelled to the storm-ravaged region, the Foreign Secretary said his visit is a "very important statement" by the Government to show it is "here for United Kingdom nationals" and is a "sign of our absolute commitment to them". But right now, there isn't anywhere else for them to go.

The storm's damage also threatens Cuba's food security, with key agricultural crops like plantains, rice and sugarcane damaged and food storage areas isolated or destroyed by flooding.

And, you know, got to remember, this is an island.

According to Rabinowitz, the only way for medical supplies from the States to reach St. Thomas directly, for now, is by private plane.

He told MPs: "The prison was breached, over 100 very serious prisoners escaped". "I'm speaking these words from a satellite phone that is just about working, but all other communications are down".

"It's just carnage here", Freeman Rogers, a local resident and the editor of the BVI Beacon, told The Washington Post last week.

"We have maintained and kept law and order on the BVI, which at one point, could have dramatically threatened the already unfortunate plight of those who had been hit by the hurricane", he said.

Mr Johnson said the hurricane was "an unprecedented event, an unprecedented catastrophe" for the people who live in the worst-hit parts of the Caribbean.

"They plan to rebuild", Chiappero said of government officials' recovery plans for the island.



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