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British FM flying to Caribbean after criticism of Irma aid

AFP  |  London 

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is flying to British territories in the Caribbean today following intense criticism of London's efforts to help communities devastated by Hurricane Irma.

Johnson, who has dismissed the criticism from local residents and British tourists as "completely unjustified", will visit the affected British Overseas Territories, the foreign ministry said on Twitter.

French President Emmanuel Macron is visiting the French- Dutch territory of St Martin on Tuesday and Dutch King Willem-Alexander travelled there on Monday.

has sent more than 700 troops and 50 police officers to the British Virgin Islands after Irma swept through last week. Six people have been killed in the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla.

has also dispatched 10 humanitarian flights and pledged ?32 million (35 million euros, $42 million) in aid for the territories, which are under British sovereignty but not part of the United Kingdom.

A British navy ship has also been assisting victims of the hurricane since last week and a second warship, the HMS Ocean, is due to set off from Gibraltar Tuesday but will only arrive in the Caribbean in 12 days' time.

But local residents say the government was not prepared and the aid has been too slow to arrive.

The families of some British tourists stranded on St Martin have also complained that their loved ones are not being evacuated from the island.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, September 12 2017. 14:23 IST