More aid, evac­u­a­tions in Caribbean is­lands bat­tered by Irma

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - World -

HA­VANA -- With ports mended and weather cleared, of­fi­cials sent in more aid and ar­ranged stepped-up evac­u­a­tions Mon­day in re­mote Caribbean is­lands dev­as­tated and cut off by Hur­ri­cane Irma.

Many in the chain of Lee­ward Is­lands known as the play­ground for the rich and fa­mous have crit­i­cized gov­ern­ments for fail­ing to re­spond quickly to the dis­as­ter caused by the Cat­e­gory 5 hur­ri­cane.

The storm stripped the is­lands’ for­merly lush green hills to a brown stub­ble and flat­tened build­ings, then swamped much of Cuba’s coast­line, in­clud­ing Ha­vana’s iconic Male­con sea­wall.

At least 24 peo­ple died in An­guilla, Bar­buda, the French-Dutch is­land of St. Martin, St. Barts, the U.S. Vir­gin Is­lands and the Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­lands.

Among them was a 2-yearold boy swept away when his home filled with wa­ter.

Res­i­dents have re­ported short­ages of food, wa­ter and medicine, and many have com­plained of loot­ing.

The U.S. gov­ern­ment said it was send­ing a flight Mon­day to evac­u­ate its ci­ti­zens from one of the hard­est hit is­lands, St. Martin. Evac­uees were warned to ex­pect long lines and no run­ning wa­ter at the air­port.

A Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ship was ex­pected to dock near St. Martin to help in the af­ter­math, and a boat was bring­ing a 5-ton crane ca­pa­ble of un­load­ing large ship­ping con­tain­ers filled with aid. A French military ship was sched­uled to ar­rive Tues­day with ma­te­ri­als to build tem­po­rary housing.

Some 70 per­cent of the beds at the main hos­pi­tal in the French por­tion of St. Martin were se­verely dam­aged, and more than 100 peo­ple in need of ur­gent med­i­cal care have been evac­u­ated. Eight of the ter­ri­tory’s 11 phar­ma­cies were de­stroyed, and Guade­loupe was send­ing med­i­ca­tion. (AP)

Res­i­dents walk on Ha­vana's flooded sea wall as the ocean crashes into it, af­ter the pass­ing of Hur­ri­cane Irma in Ha­vana, Cuba, Sun­day, Sept. 10, 2017. The pow­er­ful storm ripped roofs off houses, col­lapsed build­ings and flooded hun­dreds of miles of coast­line af­ter cut­ting a trail of de­struc­tion across the Caribbean.

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