UK pledges £32m to Hurricane Irma relief effort, Theresa May says after emergency Cobra meeting

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The Government has bolstered the funds available to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma to £32 million.

Theresa May announced the cash injection to the relief effort after an emergency Cobra committee meeting on Thursday afternoon.

It comes as the deadly storm continues to lay waste to swathes of Caribbean, including British overseas territories.

Upon the announcement, the Prime Minister added that her “thoughts and prayers” were with those affected.

Cash injection: Theresa May announced the UK’s contribution to the relief effort (PA)

Mrs May said: “No one can fail to be affected by the absolutely desperate plight of people in the Caribbean who have been hit by Hurricane Irma.

“And my thoughts and prayers are with all those affected, particularly with British nationals in the overseas territories of Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands.

“It has been devastating, it is the most powerful storm to hit the Atlantic, it has brought devastation in its wake, it has destroyed buildings and infrastructure but it has had such an impact on people’s lives because it has seen people’s livelihoods completely destroyed and of course some people are missing and some will have lost loved ones.”

She added the Government would “continue to do what is needed and provide what is necessary” as the storm progresses towards the US.

Her announcement came after the Queen sent a heartfelt message to those whose lives have been devastated by the hurricane.

At least 10 people have been killed in the wake of the raging storm, which wreaked havoc as it hit the islands on Wednesday morning.

Hurricane Irma Predicted Pathway

Navy ship RFA Mounts Bay, with 40 marines on board, was sent to one of the worst-hit areas after ministers said the region needs “extensive humanitarian assistance”.

Officials say the French and Dutch island territories of St Martin/Sint Maarten have been devastated and the death toll is likely to rise. 

There has been no word from many islanders and tourists since the storm cut communications on Wednesday.

Thousands of British nationals and tourists are also believed to be on Anguilla, which was described as having suffered “critical” damage.


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