,

100 ‘high risk’ prisoners escaped on British Virgin Isles

Want create site? Find Free WordPress Themes and plugins.

100 ‘high risk’ prisoners escaped on British Virgin Isles

More than 100 ‘high risk’ prisoners escaped on the British Virgin Islands during Hurricane Irma and around 40 are still on the run on Tuesday, according to a leaked government document.  

There have been widespread reports of looting on one of the islands, Tortola, after inmates broke out of a jail amid chaos during the 185mph storm.

Photos of a British Cabinet Briefing paper have now revealed that officials are attempting to ‘secure the transfer of the prisoners’ to the island of St Lucia. 

Meanwhile, British junior foreign minister Alan Duncan told parliament: ‘We had a serious threat of a complete breakdown of law and order in the British Virgin islands (BVI). The prison was breached, over 100 very serious prisoners escaped.’ 

The minister also raised the death toll in British Caribbean territories to nine. Five people died in the BVI and four in Anguilla. The authorities had previously reported one person killed in Anguilla.

It comes as pictures emerged of exhausted tourists being evacuated from the Dutch-French island of St Martin as part of a major international relief effort.

Starving residents on the island have resorted to fighting each other for food while tourists queued at the airport and wept with relief as they were being evacuated from the ‘biblical-scale destruction’. Hundreds of holidaymakers are still trying to leave, with dozens lining up outside the Princess Juliana Airport, which was left in ruins in the storm.

There have been reports of people arming themselves with machetes to defend themselves on the island while one soldier said he was stopping attempted lootings every ten minutes.  

Scroll down for video 

Mass evacuations are gathering pace from islands hit by Hurricane Irma. Residents and tourists trapped on St Martin broke down in tears as they prepared to board planes to leave the island

Mass evacuations are gathering pace from islands hit by Hurricane Irma. Residents and tourists trapped on St Martin broke down in tears as they prepared to board planes to leave the island

Mass evacuations are gathering pace from islands hit by Hurricane Irma. Residents and tourists trapped on St Martin broke down in tears as they prepared to board planes to leave the island

A young woman breaks down in tears as she prepares to leave St Martin. People trapped on the island have described the destruction  there as 'biblical'

A young woman breaks down in tears as she prepares to leave St Martin. People trapped on the island have described the destruction  there as 'biblical'

A young woman breaks down in tears as she prepares to leave St Martin. People trapped on the island have described the destruction  there as ‘biblical’

Wasteland: Debris lies strewn across a beach as a group of people inspect the damage caused by Irma on the island of St Martin 

Wasteland: Debris lies strewn across a beach as a group of people inspect the damage caused by Irma on the island of St Martin 

Wasteland: Debris lies strewn across a beach as a group of people inspect the damage caused by Irma on the island of St Martin 

Devastation: Pictures show the remains of a building destroyed in Grand-Case, on the French Caribbean island of St Martin

Devastation: Pictures show the remains of a building destroyed in Grand-Case, on the French Caribbean island of St Martin

Devastation: Pictures show the remains of a building destroyed in Grand-Case, on the French Caribbean island of St Martin

Waiting game: Residents use umbrellas and bags to shelter from the sun as they queue up to collect supplies on the island of St Martin

Waiting game: Residents use umbrellas and bags to shelter from the sun as they queue up to collect supplies on the island of St Martin

Waiting game: Residents use umbrellas and bags to shelter from the sun as they queue up to collect supplies on the island of St Martin

Looting has also been reported in the British Virgin Islands and photos of a British cabinet document have emerged suggesting up to 40 'high risk' prisoners are on the loose after escaping during the hurricane

Looting has also been reported in the British Virgin Islands and photos of a British cabinet document have emerged suggesting up to 40 'high risk' prisoners are on the loose after escaping during the hurricane

Looting has also been reported in the British Virgin Islands and photos of a British cabinet document have emerged suggesting up to 40 ‘high risk’ prisoners are on the loose after escaping during the hurricane

Aftermath: Luxury yachts lie stacked up on top of each other in marinas on the island of St Martin in the wake of the hurricane

Aftermath: Luxury yachts lie stacked up on top of each other in marinas on the island of St Martin in the wake of the hurricane

Aftermath: Luxury yachts lie stacked up on top of each other in marinas on the island of St Martin in the wake of the hurricane

Members of the New York Air National Guard help evacuees as they prepare to leave St. Maarten for the safety of San Juan, Puerto Rico

Members of the New York Air National Guard help evacuees as they prepare to leave St. Maarten for the safety of San Juan, Puerto Rico

Members of the New York Air National Guard help evacuees as they prepare to leave St. Maarten for the safety of San Juan, Puerto Rico

Exhausted holidaymakers, carrying their suitcases on their laps, are pictured on a flight away from the hurricane-hit island of St Martin last night

Exhausted holidaymakers, carrying their suitcases on their laps, are pictured on a flight away from the hurricane-hit island of St Martin last night

Exhausted holidaymakers, carrying their suitcases on their laps, are pictured on a flight away from the hurricane-hit island of St Martin last night

Aid: British soldiers pack up HMS Ocean with much-needed supplies in Gibraltar as the rescue effort for the Caribbean continues 

Aid: British soldiers pack up HMS Ocean with much-needed supplies in Gibraltar as the rescue effort for the Caribbean continues 

Aid: British soldiers pack up HMS Ocean with much-needed supplies in Gibraltar as the rescue effort for the Caribbean continues 

French police are pictured chasing looters in St Martin amid reports a gang of 600 thieves are terrorising islanders

French police are pictured chasing looters in St Martin amid reports a gang of 600 thieves are terrorising islanders

French police are pictured chasing looters in St Martin amid reports a gang of 600 thieves are terrorising islanders

Terrified tourists on the Dutch-French island of St Martin have described cowering in their hotel rooms amid reports up to 600 looters are running riot (pictured in a still taken from a video posted on Facebook)

Terrified tourists on the Dutch-French island of St Martin have described cowering in their hotel rooms amid reports up to 600 looters are running riot (pictured in a still taken from a video posted on Facebook)

Terrified tourists on the Dutch-French island of St Martin have described cowering in their hotel rooms amid reports up to 600 looters are running riot (pictured in a still taken from a video posted on Facebook)

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is set to fly to the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla ‘in the coming days’ as part of a visit to British territories devastated by the storm. 

French and Dutch police have sent extra police to St Martin to help contain looting on the island.

One resident, Jacques Charbonnier, said ‘all the food is gone now’ and revealed ‘people are fighting in the streets for what is left’, the Independent reports.

Another, 70-year-old Germania Perez, said: ‘There’s no food here. There’s no water here.’

Help was making its way to the island today, from the Dutch and French governments, other nations and private organisations. A French military ship with supplies was due to arrive today, coinciding with a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron.

But as foreigners rushed to leave the island, some of those staying behind are still seeking meals and something to drink.

‘We need water and food. It’s not a ‘maybe.’ It’s a ‘for sure,” said Phillip King, a 53-year-old tour bus driver. ‘My job is done right now. It’s gone for a long time.’

The world-famous Princess Juliana International Airport (pictured) in Phillipsburg, St Martin was left in ruins when the storm hit last week

The world-famous Princess Juliana International Airport (pictured) in Phillipsburg, St Martin was left in ruins when the storm hit last week

The world-famous Princess Juliana International Airport (pictured) in Phillipsburg, St Martin was left in ruins when the storm hit last week

A man kisses his wife holding their baby as they board a plane at Grand-Case Esperance airport to flee from Saint-Martin as a mass evacuation gathers pace

A man kisses his wife holding their baby as they board a plane at Grand-Case Esperance airport to flee from Saint-Martin as a mass evacuation gathers pace

A man kisses his wife holding their baby as they board a plane at Grand-Case Esperance airport to flee from Saint-Martin as a mass evacuation gathers pace

Response: Members of the New York Air National Guard help a wheelchair-bound pensioner on to a plane at St Martin ahead of a flight to Puerto Rico

Response: Members of the New York Air National Guard help a wheelchair-bound pensioner on to a plane at St Martin ahead of a flight to Puerto Rico

Response: Members of the New York Air National Guard help a wheelchair-bound pensioner on to a plane at St Martin ahead of a flight to Puerto Rico

Military aircraft have been airlifting exhausted holidaymakers off the island of St Martin amid reports looting is continuing on the streets

Military aircraft have been airlifting exhausted holidaymakers off the island of St Martin amid reports looting is continuing on the streets

Military aircraft have been airlifting exhausted holidaymakers off the island of St Martin amid reports looting is continuing on the streets

Devastated residents survey the 'biblical-scale' damage on St Martin last night in the wake of Hurricane Irma

Devastated residents survey the 'biblical-scale' damage on St Martin last night in the wake of Hurricane Irma

Devastated residents survey the ‘biblical-scale’ damage on St Martin last night in the wake of Hurricane Irma

Wreckage: Luxury beach-front hotels and villas on the holiday island of St Marting were ravaged by the force of Hurricane Irma

Wreckage: Luxury beach-front hotels and villas on the holiday island of St Marting were ravaged by the force of Hurricane Irma

Wreckage: Luxury beach-front hotels and villas on the holiday island of St Marting were ravaged by the force of Hurricane Irma

A tangled ship's mast rests on the dock in Philipsburg, on the Dutch side of St Martin as residents come to terms with the destruction

A tangled ship's mast rests on the dock in Philipsburg, on the Dutch side of St Martin as residents come to terms with the destruction

A tangled ship’s mast rests on the dock in Philipsburg, on the Dutch side of St Martin as residents come to terms with the destruction

The roof of this property was torn off by the force of 185mph winds that swept across St Martin last week. Mass evacuations are now underway

The roof of this property was torn off by the force of 185mph winds that swept across St Martin last week. Mass evacuations are now underway

The roof of this property was torn off by the force of 185mph winds that swept across St Martin last week. Mass evacuations are now underway

Rescuers: HMS Ocean of the Royal Navy is packed up with aid to help Britain's Caribbean territories after the devastation of Hurricane Irma 

Rescuers: HMS Ocean of the Royal Navy is packed up with aid to help Britain's Caribbean territories after the devastation of Hurricane Irma 

Rescuers: HMS Ocean of the Royal Navy is packed up with aid to help Britain’s Caribbean territories after the devastation of Hurricane Irma 

Essentials: The troops are loading the helicopter carrier with food, water and other basics after the storm wiped out normal life on the islands 

Essentials: The troops are loading the helicopter carrier with food, water and other basics after the storm wiped out normal life on the islands 

Essentials: The troops are loading the helicopter carrier with food, water and other basics after the storm wiped out normal life on the islands 

Damage: Trees were shredded or torn out of the ground and houses left in ruins on St Martin as Hurricane Irma struck

Damage: Trees were shredded or torn out of the ground and houses left in ruins on St Martin as Hurricane Irma struck

Damage: Trees were shredded or torn out of the ground and houses left in ruins on St Martin as Hurricane Irma struck

Relieved tourists show officials their passports as they prepare to board a plane and escape the hurricane-hit island of St Martin 

Relieved tourists show officials their passports as they prepare to board a plane and escape the hurricane-hit island of St Martin 

Relieved tourists show officials their passports as they prepare to board a plane and escape the hurricane-hit island of St Martin 

Escape: Four exhausted evacuees rest as they sit in a plane ahead of a flight from hurricane-hit St Martin

Escape: Four exhausted evacuees rest as they sit in a plane ahead of a flight from hurricane-hit St Martin

Escape: Four exhausted evacuees rest as they sit in a plane ahead of a flight from hurricane-hit St Martin

Shelter also is a growing concern for many residents.

Dalaney Kertzious, a 44-year-old port security officer, spent the hurricane at a hotel that evacuated its guests after the storm blew out windows. She found another hotel but has to leave with her 17-year-old daughter by Tuesday and does not want to stay in their home because it has no roof.

‘I will try my best, but I have nowhere to spend the night,’ she said, adding that the homes of her family and friends are already full.

As night falls, residents hurry inside, fearful of robbers roaming the streets. Across the island, cars lie tossed upside down, at 90-degree angles and on top of other cars. Large boats lean sideways on dry land.

‘We can’t sleep in peace because of the thieves,’ said Yovanny Roque, a 48-year-old mover.

‘The destruction is on a biblical scale,’ said 51-year-old Raju Budhrani. ‘It’s how you see it in the movies. It’s actually worse than that.’

Hundreds of holidaymakers are still trying to leave St Martin, with dozens lining up outside the Princess Juliana Airport, which was left in ruins in the storm. People are pictured lining up to board a plane at the terminal

Hundreds of holidaymakers are still trying to leave St Martin, with dozens lining up outside the Princess Juliana Airport, which was left in ruins in the storm. People are pictured lining up to board a plane at the terminal

Hundreds of holidaymakers are still trying to leave St Martin, with dozens lining up outside the Princess Juliana Airport, which was left in ruins in the storm. People are pictured lining up to board a plane at the terminal

Aerial photographs show how entire communities were destroyed by the power of the 185mph winds that ripped across St Martin

Aerial photographs show how entire communities were destroyed by the power of the 185mph winds that ripped across St Martin

Aerial photographs show how entire communities were destroyed by the power of the 185mph winds that ripped across St Martin

Experts are still surveying the damage caused on St Martin. This was the scene at one island resort where a car ended up on the beach

Experts are still surveying the damage caused on St Martin. This was the scene at one island resort where a car ended up on the beach

Experts are still surveying the damage caused on St Martin. This was the scene at one island resort where a car ended up on the beach

Paradise lost: Once palm-fringed beaches on St Martin now look more like a warzones in the wake of the hurricane

Paradise lost: Once palm-fringed beaches on St Martin now look more like a warzones in the wake of the hurricane

Paradise lost: Once palm-fringed beaches on St Martin now look more like a warzones in the wake of the hurricane

Debris lies strewn across a beach on the holiday island of St Martin. The Dutch and French governments are sending troops to the island to help with the clean-up operation

Debris lies strewn across a beach on the holiday island of St Martin. The Dutch and French governments are sending troops to the island to help with the clean-up operation

Debris lies strewn across a beach on the holiday island of St Martin. The Dutch and French governments are sending troops to the island to help with the clean-up operation

Evacuation: People line up as they wait to be flown off the island of St Martin

Evacuation: People line up as they wait to be flown off the island of St Martin

Evacuation: People line up as they wait to be flown off the island of St Martin

A plane was flipped over at an airstrip on St Martin. At least 35 people have been killed by Irma in the Caribbean

A plane was flipped over at an airstrip on St Martin. At least 35 people have been killed by Irma in the Caribbean

A plane was flipped over at an airstrip on St Martin. At least 35 people have been killed by Irma in the Caribbean

Hundreds of people across an island shared by Dutch St. Martin and French St. Martin are trying to rebuild the lives they had before Hurricane Irma hit

Hundreds of people across an island shared by Dutch St. Martin and French St. Martin are trying to rebuild the lives they had before Hurricane Irma hit

Hundreds of people across an island shared by Dutch St. Martin and French St. Martin are trying to rebuild the lives they had before Hurricane Irma hit

‘Once you have life, hope is there,’ said 64-year-old retiree Albertus Williams.

At least 35 people have been killed by Irma in the Caribbean, 10 of which were in Cuba. That is Cuba’s worst hurricane death toll since 16 died in Hurricane Dennis in 2005.

Havana was in recovery mode Monday, with crews cleaning away thousands of fallen trees and electric restored to a handful of neighborhoods. Schools were closed until further notice. 

President Raul Castro issued a message to the nation that didn’t mention the deaths, but described damage to ‘housing, the electrical system and agriculture.’

He also acknowledged destruction in the northern keys where Cuba and foreign hotel management firms have built dozens of all-inclusive beach resorts in recent years. 

The Jardines del Rey airport serving the northern keys was destroyed, the Communist Party newspaper Granma reported, tweeting photos of a shattered terminal hall littered with debris.

Destruction: This was the scene of devastation that greeted Royal Marines as they arrived at Jost Van Dyk in the British Virgin Islands

Destruction: This was the scene of devastation that greeted Royal Marines as they arrived at Jost Van Dyk in the British Virgin Islands

Destruction: This was the scene of devastation that greeted Royal Marines as they arrived at Jost Van Dyk in the British Virgin Islands

Royal Marines from Alpha Company, 40 Commando, have arrived to deliver aid and provide support to the islanders of Jost Van Dkye in the British Virgin Islands

Royal Marines from Alpha Company, 40 Commando, have arrived to deliver aid and provide support to the islanders of Jost Van Dkye in the British Virgin Islands

Royal Marines from Alpha Company, 40 Commando, have arrived to deliver aid and provide support to the islanders of Jost Van Dkye in the British Virgin Islands

Response: Royal Marines carry away storm damage as they help to rebuild storm-ravaged homes on the hurricane-hit island of Jost Van Dyke

Response: Royal Marines carry away storm damage as they help to rebuild storm-ravaged homes on the hurricane-hit island of Jost Van Dyke

Response: Royal Marines carry away storm damage as they help to rebuild storm-ravaged homes on the hurricane-hit island of Jost Van Dyke

Aerial pictures show how entire houses on Jost Van Dyke were blown to pieces by the power of Hurricane Irma

Aerial pictures show how entire houses on Jost Van Dyke were blown to pieces by the power of Hurricane Irma

Aerial pictures show how entire houses on Jost Van Dyke were blown to pieces by the power of Hurricane Irma

Moving out: Royal Marines board a Royal Air Force Puma helicopter bound for the hurricane-hit island of Jost Van Dkye

Moving out: Royal Marines board a Royal Air Force Puma helicopter bound for the hurricane-hit island of Jost Van Dkye

Moving out: Royal Marines board a Royal Air Force Puma helicopter bound for the hurricane-hit island of Jost Van Dkye

Devon-based 59 Commando Squadron from 24 Commando Royal Engineers  deliver aid to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Specialist army engineers have restored power, running water, runway lighting and are repairing the perimeter fence at Terrance B, Lettsome International Airport on the island of Tortola

Devon-based 59 Commando Squadron from 24 Commando Royal Engineers  deliver aid to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Specialist army engineers have restored power, running water, runway lighting and are repairing the perimeter fence at Terrance B, Lettsome International Airport on the island of Tortola

Devon-based 59 Commando Squadron from 24 Commando Royal Engineers deliver aid to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Specialist army engineers have restored power, running water, runway lighting and are repairing the perimeter fence at Terrance B, Lettsome International Airport on the island of Tortola

Helping hand: Royal Marines carry boxes of food and other supplies on to the hurricane-ravaged island of Jost Van Dyke

Helping hand: Royal Marines carry boxes of food and other supplies on to the hurricane-ravaged island of Jost Van Dyke

Helping hand: Royal Marines carry boxes of food and other supplies on to the hurricane-ravaged island of Jost Van Dyke

The Royal Marines have also been helping to remove fallen trees during the mission in the British Virgin Islands (pictured)

The Royal Marines have also been helping to remove fallen trees during the mission in the British Virgin Islands (pictured)

The Royal Marines have also been helping to remove fallen trees during the mission in the British Virgin Islands (pictured)

Islanders joined forces with British Royal Marines as they tried to rebuild parts of the storm-hit British Virgin Islands

Islanders joined forces with British Royal Marines as they tried to rebuild parts of the storm-hit British Virgin Islands

Islanders joined forces with British Royal Marines as they tried to rebuild parts of the storm-hit British Virgin Islands

Royal Marines have been dispatched to the British Virgin Islands to help clear wreckage, restore electricity supplies and rebuild vital infrastructure

Royal Marines have been dispatched to the British Virgin Islands to help clear wreckage, restore electricity supplies and rebuild vital infrastructure

Royal Marines have been dispatched to the British Virgin Islands to help clear wreckage, restore electricity supplies and rebuild vital infrastructure

Royal Marines from from 59 Commando Squadron have been tasked with helping to clean up Tortola in the British Virgin Islands after the area was destroyed by Hurricane Irma

Royal Marines from from 59 Commando Squadron have been tasked with helping to clean up Tortola in the British Virgin Islands after the area was destroyed by Hurricane Irma

Royal Marines from from 59 Commando Squadron have been tasked with helping to clean up Tortola in the British Virgin Islands after the area was destroyed by Hurricane Irma

Royal Marines from from 59 Commando Squadron have been tasked with helping to clean up Tortola in the British Virgin Islands after the area was destroyed by Hurricane Irma

Royal Marines from from 59 Commando Squadron have been tasked with helping to clean up Tortola in the British Virgin Islands after the area was destroyed by Hurricane Irma

Royal Marines carry away a roof which was torn off a building on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands

Royal Marines carry away a roof which was torn off a building on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands

Royal Marines carry away a roof which was torn off a building on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands

‘The storm hit some of our principal tourist destinations but the damage will be repaired before the high season,’ starting in November, Castro wrote.

To the east, in the Leeward Islands known as the playground for the rich and famous, governments came under criticism for failing to respond quickly to the hurricane, which flattened many towns and turned lush, green hills to a brown stubble.

Residents have reported food, water and medicine shortages, as well as looting.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is flying to British territories in the Caribbean following intense criticism of London’s efforts to help communities devastated by Hurricane Irma. He will arrive in Barbados today and make trips to the heavily damaged British Virgin Islands and to Anguilla.

Mr Johnson has dismissed criticism from local residents and British tourists as ‘completely unjustified’.

A despondent Mariela Leon sits in front of her flood-damaged home after Hurricane Irma ravaged the community of Isabela de Sagua in Cuba

A despondent Mariela Leon sits in front of her flood-damaged home after Hurricane Irma ravaged the community of Isabela de Sagua in Cuba

A despondent Mariela Leon sits in front of her flood-damaged home after Hurricane Irma ravaged the community of Isabela de Sagua in Cuba

Cuban state media reported 10 deaths despite the country's usually rigorous disaster preparations. More than 1 million were evacuated from flood-prone areas. An abandoned doll is pictured in Isabela de Sagua in Cuba

Cuban state media reported 10 deaths despite the country's usually rigorous disaster preparations. More than 1 million were evacuated from flood-prone areas. An abandoned doll is pictured in Isabela de Sagua in Cuba

Cuban state media reported 10 deaths despite the country’s usually rigorous disaster preparations. More than 1 million were evacuated from flood-prone areas. An abandoned doll is pictured in Isabela de Sagua in Cuba

A girl sits on a mattress soaked by the floods as others survey the scenes of devastation at Isabela de Sagua in Cuba

A girl sits on a mattress soaked by the floods as others survey the scenes of devastation at Isabela de Sagua in Cuba

A girl sits on a mattress soaked by the floods as others survey the scenes of devastation at Isabela de Sagua in Cuba

Lourdes Rivera loads buckets to collect water in front of her house that was destroyed by Hurricane Irma, in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba

Lourdes Rivera loads buckets to collect water in front of her house that was destroyed by Hurricane Irma, in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba

Lourdes Rivera loads buckets to collect water in front of her house that was destroyed by Hurricane Irma, in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba

People collect water from a broken tube after Hurricane Irma caused mass flooding and a blackout in Havana, Cuba

People collect water from a broken tube after Hurricane Irma caused mass flooding and a blackout in Havana, Cuba

People collect water from a broken tube after Hurricane Irma caused mass flooding and a blackout in Havana, Cuba

Hungry residents line up to buy bread after Hurricane Irma caused flooding and a blackout in Havana, Cuba

Hungry residents line up to buy bread after Hurricane Irma caused flooding and a blackout in Havana, Cuba

Hungry residents line up to buy bread after Hurricane Irma caused flooding and a blackout in Havana, Cuba

Several crosses stand surrounded by flood waters caused by Hurricane Irma, in the cemetery in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba

Several crosses stand surrounded by flood waters caused by Hurricane Irma, in the cemetery in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba

Several crosses stand surrounded by flood waters caused by Hurricane Irma, in the cemetery in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba

Damage is seen next to Cuban flags that were hung up to dry after Hurricane Irma caused flooding and a blackout, in Havana, Cuba

Damage is seen next to Cuban flags that were hung up to dry after Hurricane Irma caused flooding and a blackout, in Havana, Cuba

Damage is seen next to Cuban flags that were hung up to dry after Hurricane Irma caused flooding and a blackout, in Havana, Cuba

People put furniture out to dry outside their homes after Hurricane Irma caused flooding and a blackout, in Havana, Cuba

People put furniture out to dry outside their homes after Hurricane Irma caused flooding and a blackout, in Havana, Cuba

People put furniture out to dry outside their homes after Hurricane Irma caused flooding and a blackout, in Havana, Cuba

RACE ROW AMID CLAIMS OF ‘SELECTIVE’ EVACUATION FROM HURRICANE-HIT ST MARTIN

In the chaotic days after Hurricane Irma smashed St. Martin, the storm also exposed simmering racial tensions on the island’s French territory, with some black and mixed-race residents complaining that white tourists were given priority during the evacuation.

It was the type of anger that has long plagued France’s far-flung former colonies – especially its Caribbean territories, where most of the population identifies as black and is poorer than the white minority.

Johana Soudiagom was disturbed to find herself among a tiny handful of non-whites evacuated by boat to nearby Guadeloupe after Irma devastated the island.

‘It’s selective. Excuse me, but we saw only mainlanders,’ she told Guadeloupe 1ere television, visibly shaken. ‘That’s a way of saying, ‘I’m sorry, only whites. There are only whites on the boat.”

It’s common practice for tourists to be evacuated first from disaster zones for practical reasons, as they are staying in hotels and not in their homes and tend to have fewer resources such as food and vehicles. The French prime minister insisted Monday that the only people being prioritized were the most vulnerable.

Rescue mission: Evacuees are loaded in a Royal Netherland Air Force plane bound to Curacao at Princess Juliana Airport

Rescue mission: Evacuees are loaded in a Royal Netherland Air Force plane bound to Curacao at Princess Juliana Airport

Rescue mission: Evacuees are loaded in a Royal Netherland Air Force plane bound to Curacao at Princess Juliana Airport

People line up to board a jet in Simpson Bay on St Martin and leave the island, which was left in ruins by the force of Hurricane Irma

People line up to board a jet in Simpson Bay on St Martin and leave the island, which was left in ruins by the force of Hurricane Irma

People line up to board a jet in Simpson Bay on St Martin and leave the island, which was left in ruins by the force of Hurricane Irma

Government spokesman Christophe Castaner said he understood islanders’ frustration with the government response but blamed part of the controversy on their ’emotional shock, an impact that’s extremely hard psychologically.’

Soudiagom and other witnesses told Guadeloupe 1ere that the boat they took Friday carried tourists, including Americans, to safety but left many St. Martin residents behind, including needy mothers and children.

On Monday, France’s Representative Council of Black Associations asked the government for a parliamentary inquiry, citing concerns that those who were evacuated were not ‘necessarily the most in distress.’

‘In my eyes, Irma is for the French Antilles what Hurricane Katrina was for Louisiana in the U.S. – an exposer of racial and social inequalities,’ the group’s spokesman, Louis-Georges Tin, told The Associated Press.

The terror of facing down a Category 5 hurricane has combined with a long-held sense of isolation among local residents of St. Martin, some 4,200 miles from the French mainland and popular with European tourists.

‘The natural catastrophe occurred in a place that’s very vulnerable socially, where there is a population of many different skin colors and a history of slavery,’ said Michel Giraud, a French researcher who writes on race. ‘Of course there will be a perception of racism.’

The island of St. Martin – divided in the 17th century into the French territory of Saint-Martin and the Dutch territory of Sint Maarten – measures just 34 square miles. Its 80,000 residents are a vibrant ethnic mix descended mainly from Africa, Europe and Asia. The two sides of the island share a creole language that draws heavily on English vocabulary.

The French part of St. Martin is similar to other French holdings in the Caribbean in that its white minority is generally wealthier than its black majority. Because France bans the collection of data on race, there are no statistics to show how much wealthier.

Evacuees are loaded in a Puerto Rico National Guard C130 plane bound to the island after being processed by US Embassy personnel at Princess Juliana Airport in St. Martin

Evacuees are loaded in a Puerto Rico National Guard C130 plane bound to the island after being processed by US Embassy personnel at Princess Juliana Airport in St. Martin

Evacuees are loaded in a Puerto Rico National Guard C130 plane bound to the island after being processed by US Embassy personnel at Princess Juliana Airport in St. Martin

It began as a colony whose economy was fueled by African slaves. But after slavery was abolished in 1848, Tin said, ‘there were no reparations for the slaves, only for the slave owners,’ so the former slaves won freedom but remained destitute. ‘The economy is now based on tourism but it is still poor. The wages are significantly lower than the mainland France.’

The government is not the only one being accused of racial bias in the wake of the storm. Giraud said French television reports on the devastation focused disproportionately on white people.

‘When I saw the pictures, I was shocked,’ Giraud said. ‘In the coverage I saw, the victims were mostly white tourists, or white French mainlanders. But the poorest are always the first victims.’

Irma hit St. Martin on Wednesday, killing at least nine people on the French part of the island and damaging a majority of its buildings.

The following day, looters were seen hauling food, water and televisions from shops, and videos featuring predominantly black people raiding shops circulated online. Some took to social media to blame the thieving on non-whites and characterized the white evacuees as innocents escaping the chaos.

Tin said the island’s poorer residents were doing what they had to after an ineffective government response.

‘What some call theft, others call survival,’ he said. ‘When the state doesn’t do its job, it’s normal that the poorest do what’s necessary to survive.’

‘In Florida, there were more than 1 million evacuated, and France says that with four days’ notice they couldn’t evacuate a much smaller number,’ Tin said. ‘The question must be asked: Does it have to do with racism?’

The government argues that it is more difficult to transport tens of thousands of people off small islands in stormy weather than it is to tell people to drive to safety.

French President Emmanuel Macron planned to fly to St. Martin on Tuesday to inspect the damage and relief operations and to reassure the local population.

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

Britain 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.

Britain has also dispatched 10 humanitarian flights and pledged £32 million in aid for the territories, which are under British sovereignty but not part of the United Kingdom. 

Clean-up: A man and woman carry a bed frame past the ruins of wooden buildings along the coast at Isabela de Sagua on hurricane-hit Cuba

Clean-up: A man and woman carry a bed frame past the ruins of wooden buildings along the coast at Isabela de Sagua on hurricane-hit Cuba

Clean-up: A man and woman carry a bed frame past the ruins of wooden buildings along the coast at Isabela de Sagua on hurricane-hit Cuba

Yaneisis Martinez hugs her two dogs as she sits on the remains of her house, which was destroyed by Hurricane Irma in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba

Yaneisis Martinez hugs her two dogs as she sits on the remains of her house, which was destroyed by Hurricane Irma in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba

Yaneisis Martinez hugs her two dogs as she sits on the remains of her house, which was destroyed by Hurricane Irma in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba

The powerful storm ripped roofs off houses, collapsed buildings and flooded huge sections of Cuba's coastline after cutting a trail of destruction across the Caribbean. This was the scene in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba as residents started the big clean-up

The powerful storm ripped roofs off houses, collapsed buildings and flooded huge sections of Cuba's coastline after cutting a trail of destruction across the Caribbean. This was the scene in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba as residents started the big clean-up

The powerful storm ripped roofs off houses, collapsed buildings and flooded huge sections of Cuba’s coastline after cutting a trail of destruction across the Caribbean. This was the scene in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba as residents started the big clean-up

Cuban officials have warned residents to watch for even more flooding over the next few days in the wake of Hurricane Irma

Cuban officials have warned residents to watch for even more flooding over the next few days in the wake of Hurricane Irma

Cuban officials have warned residents to watch for even more flooding over the next few days in the wake of Hurricane Irma

A man looks out to sea as he sits on the remains of a restaurant destroyed by Hurricane Irma in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba

A man looks out to sea as he sits on the remains of a restaurant destroyed by Hurricane Irma in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba

A man looks out to sea as he sits on the remains of a restaurant destroyed by Hurricane Irma in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba

A shirtless man walks among the belongings of those affected by the hurricane in Isabela de Sagua

A shirtless man walks among the belongings of those affected by the hurricane in Isabela de Sagua

A shirtless man walks among the belongings of those affected by the hurricane in Isabela de Sagua

A girl walks past a man trying to collect water from a pipe next to the remains of a house destroyed by Hurricane Irma in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba

A girl walks past a man trying to collect water from a pipe next to the remains of a house destroyed by Hurricane Irma in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba

A girl walks past a man trying to collect water from a pipe next to the remains of a house destroyed by Hurricane Irma in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba

Anger: A woman throws her arms apart in front of her home. She placed her belongings outside in the hope they will dry having been drenched by Hurricane Irma

Anger: A woman throws her arms apart in front of her home. She placed her belongings outside in the hope they will dry having been drenched by Hurricane Irma

Anger: A woman throws her arms apart in front of her home. She placed her belongings outside in the hope they will dry having been drenched by Hurricane Irma

Collapse: Two Cuban men move away bits of wood as they look to reclaim items they lost during the devastating hurricane

Collapse: Two Cuban men move away bits of wood as they look to reclaim items they lost during the devastating hurricane

Collapse: Two Cuban men move away bits of wood as they look to reclaim items they lost during the devastating hurricane

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. 

Despite the response, terrified tourists on St Martin have described cowering in their hotel rooms amid reports up to 600 looters are running riot. One soldier posted on the island said he was ‘stopping a looter every 10 minutes’.

Sam Branson, the son of Virgin tycoon Richard Branson, whose luxury resort in the British Virgin Islands was destroyed in the storm, warned of ‘civil unrest’ and said prisoners had escaped.

Aerial pictures released by the Ministry of Defence show the flooded areas of Providenciales, an island in the Turks and Caicos

Aerial pictures released by the Ministry of Defence show the flooded areas of Providenciales, an island in the Turks and Caicos

Aerial pictures released by the Ministry of Defence show the flooded areas of Providenciales, an island in the Turks and Caicos

Villages on Providenciales (pictured) in the Turks and Caicos islands were devastated by the force to Hurricane Irma

Villages on Providenciales (pictured) in the Turks and Caicos islands were devastated by the force to Hurricane Irma

Villages on Providenciales (pictured) in the Turks and Caicos islands were devastated by the force to Hurricane Irma

A 24 man team made up of Royal Marine Commandos, British Army Commandos, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force specialists have landed at Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands to proved aid

A 24 man team made up of Royal Marine Commandos, British Army Commandos, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force specialists have landed at Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands to proved aid

A 24 man team made up of Royal Marine Commandos, British Army Commandos, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force specialists have landed at Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands to proved aid

This Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules transport plane became the first military aircraft to reach the Turks and Caicos Islands in the wake of the disaster

This Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules transport plane became the first military aircraft to reach the Turks and Caicos Islands in the wake of the disaster

This Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules transport plane became the first military aircraft to reach the Turks and Caicos Islands in the wake of the disaster

Reinforcements: British military personnel help to unload a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules after help finally reached the Turks and Caicos islands

Reinforcements: British military personnel help to unload a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules after help finally reached the Turks and Caicos islands

Reinforcements: British military personnel help to unload a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules after help finally reached the Turks and Caicos islands

The Turks and Caicos islands were badly hit during Hurricane Irma. British military personnel are pictured unloading supplies from a Hercules aircraft

The Turks and Caicos islands were badly hit during Hurricane Irma. British military personnel are pictured unloading supplies from a Hercules aircraft

The Turks and Caicos islands were badly hit during Hurricane Irma. British military personnel are pictured unloading supplies from a Hercules aircraft

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson defended his government's response to what he called an 'unprecedented catastrophe' and promised to increase funding for the relief effort. Britain sent a navy ship and almost 500 troops to the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos islands

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson defended his government's response to what he called an 'unprecedented catastrophe' and promised to increase funding for the relief effort. Britain sent a navy ship and almost 500 troops to the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos islands

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson defended his government’s response to what he called an ‘unprecedented catastrophe’ and promised to increase funding for the relief effort. Britain sent a navy ship and almost 500 troops to the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos islands

That appeared to be confirmed when pictures emerged of a British Cabinet Briefing document which suggested some 40 ‘high risk’ prisoners had escaped in the British Virgin Islands. The paper suggested there were plans to transfer them to the island of St Lucia once captured.

Frightened residents have also complained of looting on the islands of Anguilla, Barbuda and St. Barts after howling 185mph Irma tore through the region.

On St Martin, there are reports of some residents arming themselves with machetes to stop looters amid a crime wave on the island.

Regional police chief Jean-Marc Descoux said some 500-600 local delinquents were probably responsible for most of the looting, taking advantage of the devastation for personal profit. 

The storefronts in the centre of Marigot are testament to the paranoid atmosphere gripping the island. Every shop has its metal shutters drawn. Some show signs of being forced open with crowbars.

Before: Satellite images show how Philipsburg on the Dutch-French island of St Martin was laid to waste by Hurricane Irma
After: Satellite images show how Philipsburg on the Dutch-French island of St Martin was laid to waste by Hurricane Irma

Satellite images show how Philipsburg on the Dutch-French island of St Martin looked before the hurricane (left) and after (right) the storm hit

Before: Satellite images reveal the extent of the damage caused to Anse Marcel on the island of St. Martin
After: Satellite images reveal the extent of the damage caused to Anse Marcel on the island of St. Martin

Before (left) and after (right) satellite images reveal the extent of the damage caused to Anse Marcel on the island of St. Martin

Before: Satellite images provided by DigitalGlobe shows Providenciales, in Turks and Caicos Islands on January 1, 2016
After: A shot of Providenciales, in Turks and Caicos Islands on September 10 shows how it looked after the storm had hit

Another combination of satellite images provided by DigitalGlobe shows Providenciales, in Turks and Caicos Islands on January 1, 2016 (left) and on September 10 (right), after the storm had hit

Before: Necker Island, the home of tycoon Sir Richard Branson's luxury resort, is pictured in November 2016
After: Necker Island, the home of tycoon Sir Richard Branson's luxury resort, is pictured on September 9 after the hurricane

Necker Island, the home of tycoon Sir Richard Branson’s luxury resort, is pictured in November 2016 (left) and on September 9 (right) after the hurricane struck

Before: Aerial photos show how the town of Codrington looked on the hurricane-hit island of Barbuda before the storm
After: Aerial photos show how the town of Codrington on Barbuda looked after the hurricane

Aerial photos show how the town of Codrington looked on the hurricane-hit island of Barbuda before the storm (left) and after (right)

Before: Overhead comparison pictures show how the marina at Road Town on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands looked before the hurricane
After: Satellite images show the Road Town marina on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands in the wake of Hurricane Irma

The overhead comparison pictures show how the marina at Road Town on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands was left in ruins. It is pictured before (left) and after (right) Hurricane Irma hit

Before: Barbuda and Antigua on August 21
After: Barbuda and Antigua after the hurricane

Satellite images show the islands of Barbuda and Antigua on August 21 (left) and after the hurricane had struck (right)

Images, provided by the NASA Earth Observatory, shows Caribbean islands looking a vibrant green (top), while a second - captured after the hurricane (bottom) - shows the territory is coloured brown. The islands, from left, are St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola and Virgin Gorda

Images, provided by the NASA Earth Observatory, shows Caribbean islands looking a vibrant green (top), while a second - captured after the hurricane (bottom) - shows the territory is coloured brown. The islands, from left, are St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola and Virgin Gorda

Images, provided by the NASA Earth Observatory, shows Caribbean islands looking a vibrant green (top), while a second – captured after the hurricane (bottom) – shows the territory is coloured brown. The islands, from left, are St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola and Virgin Gorda

On one corner, a clothing shop stands open to the elements, its windows smashed in. The mannequins have been stripped of their clothes; the coathangers are bare.

A soldier posted in the Bellevue commercial district to the south revealed he was stopping a looting every ten minutes. 

Several people who were stranded on the island said looters had begun raiding hotel rooms and homes to profit from the natural disaster.

Claudia Knight, 33, runs an arts school on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands but managed to return to the UK with her toddler daughter before Hurricane Irma unleashed devastation.

Her marine engineer partner Leo Whitting, 38, stayed behind – but after seeing images of the awesome power of the storm Ms Knight said she thought he had died. 

France's President Emmanuel Macron addresses the media on his arrival in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe island today, the first step of his visit to French Caribbean islands

France's President Emmanuel Macron addresses the media on his arrival in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe island today, the first step of his visit to French Caribbean islands

France’s President Emmanuel Macron addresses the media on his arrival in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe island today, the first step of his visit to French Caribbean islands

Emmanuel Macron (second right) speaks with officials aboard the presidential plane while on his way to Guadeloupe today

Emmanuel Macron (second right) speaks with officials aboard the presidential plane while on his way to Guadeloupe today

Emmanuel Macron (second right) speaks with officials aboard the presidential plane while on his way to Guadeloupe today

Willem-Alexander and Minister of Internal Affairs Ronald Plasterk arrive at a damaged Princess Juliana International Airport in St Martin

Willem-Alexander and Minister of Internal Affairs Ronald Plasterk arrive at a damaged Princess Juliana International Airport in St Martin

Willem-Alexander and Minister of Internal Affairs Ronald Plasterk arrive at a damaged Princess Juliana International Airport in St Martin

France, Britain and the Netherlands have all sent extra security resources to the Caribbean. French troops are pictured securing the entrance to St Martin's airport

France, Britain and the Netherlands have all sent extra security resources to the Caribbean. French troops are pictured securing the entrance to St Martin's airport

France, Britain and the Netherlands have all sent extra security resources to the Caribbean. French troops are pictured securing the entrance to St Martin’s airport

Washed up: Photos show how yachts were ripped off their moorings and thrown onto dry land in Phillipsburg, St. Martin

Washed up: Photos show how yachts were ripped off their moorings and thrown onto dry land in Phillipsburg, St. Martin

Washed up: Photos show how yachts were ripped off their moorings and thrown onto dry land in Phillipsburg, St. Martin

People evacuated from St Martin looked shaken after landing at the Charles de Gaulle airport, north of Paris, on Monday

People evacuated from St Martin looked shaken after landing at the Charles de Gaulle airport, north of Paris, on Monday

A plane with 278 aboard landed in Paris, while another 100 people flew into Eindhoven in the southern Netherlands from the Guadeloupe capital Pointe-a-Pitre

A plane with 278 aboard landed in Paris, while another 100 people flew into Eindhoven in the southern Netherlands from the Guadeloupe capital Pointe-a-Pitre

People evacuated from St Martin looked shaken after landing at the Charles de Gaulle airport, north of Paris, on Monday

She said: ‘I honestly thought he was dead. Before I was making jokes like ‘make sure you park my car’, it was quite light-hearted because we didn’t know the storm was going to be that bad.

‘The military is everywhere with machine guns. Everyone’s turned feral and no-one’s going out without being armed.

‘You can’t drive your car without a weapon, it’s turning really nasty. Leo carries a knife with him.’

Ms Knight, originally from Dorset, has lived on the island for the past four years with Mr Whitting and the couple have a two-year-old daughter, Dottie.

She managed to speak with him thanks to ‘brief flickers of internet’, adding ‘he phoned me shortly after and said I’m alive – Tortola isn’t.

‘He looked like he has been touching death’s door, he’s very pale and gaunt. My house and my business have been blown away and destroyed. Nothing is left standing on the island.

‘But we love it, and we want to go out and rebuild eventually.’

People wait in line while U.S. Air force units prepare to evacuate several hundreds of American citizens from Princes Juliana International Airport on St Martin

People wait in line while U.S. Air force units prepare to evacuate several hundreds of American citizens from Princes Juliana International Airport on St Martin

People wait in line while U.S. Air force units prepare to evacuate several hundreds of American citizens from Princes Juliana International Airport on St Martin

The hills of St Martin are usually a vibrant green, but photos show how the landscape has been battered by Hurricane Irma

The hills of St Martin are usually a vibrant green, but photos show how the landscape has been battered by Hurricane Irma

The hills of St Martin are usually a vibrant green, but photos show how the landscape has been battered by Hurricane Irma

A beach-side hotel close to the airport in Phillipsburg, St. Martin is shown after it was hammered by Hurricane Irma

A beach-side hotel close to the airport in Phillipsburg, St. Martin is shown after it was hammered by Hurricane Irma

A beach-side hotel close to the airport in Phillipsburg, St. Martin is shown after it was hammered by Hurricane Irma

A young woman carries her dog at princess Juliana Airport on St Martin

A young woman carries her dog at princess Juliana Airport on St Martin

A mother holds her baby in her arms on the streets of Philipsburg

A mother holds her baby in her arms on the streets of Philipsburg

A young woman carries her dog (left) at St Martin’s international airport and a mother holds her baby in her arms (right) on the streets of Philipsburg

An officer directs people at the main entrance of Princes Juliana International Airport in Phillipsburg, where U.S. Air force units are to evacuate several hundred American citizens

An officer directs people at the main entrance of Princes Juliana International Airport in Phillipsburg, where U.S. Air force units are to evacuate several hundred American citizens

An officer directs people at the main entrance of Princes Juliana International Airport in Phillipsburg, where U.S. Air force units are to evacuate several hundred American citizens

A man picks up rubble in the Cold Bay community in St Martin, after it was pummelled by Hurricane Irma

A man picks up rubble in the Cold Bay community in St Martin, after it was pummelled by Hurricane Irma

A man picks up rubble in the Cold Bay community in St Martin, after it was pummelled by Hurricane Irma

People hold their passports and water bottles as they prepare to be evacuated from the island of St Martin

People hold their passports and water bottles as they prepare to be evacuated from the island of St Martin

People hold their passports and water bottles as they prepare to be evacuated from the island of St Martin

Luxury boats and beach-front homes were both left in ruins after the storm hit St Martin.  Irma cut a path of devastation across the northern Caribbean, leaving thousands homeless after destroying buildings and uprooting trees

Luxury boats and beach-front homes were both left in ruins after the storm hit St Martin.  Irma cut a path of devastation across the northern Caribbean, leaving thousands homeless after destroying buildings and uprooting trees

Luxury boats and beach-front homes were both left in ruins after the storm hit St Martin. Irma cut a path of devastation across the northern Caribbean, leaving thousands homeless after destroying buildings and uprooting trees

Delaney Kertzious carries clothes she salvaged  from her house in the Cold Bay community after the passage of Hurricane Irma

Delaney Kertzious carries clothes she salvaged  from her house in the Cold Bay community after the passage of Hurricane Irma

Delaney Kertzious carries clothes she salvaged from her house in the Cold Bay community after the passage of Hurricane Irma

Ms Knight said people were beginning to evacuate but you had to ‘pay through the nose’ to be shuttled off, adding Mr Whitting would hopefully manage to leave in the next few days.

She said: ‘I’m so guilty of seeing something terrible on the news then, you know, going back to your dinner after.

‘But when it really happens to you and people you love have near-death experiences it’s horrible. The Government needs to do more to help.’

Jos Smart, 26, and his girlfriend Julia Taylor, 30, reported being too afraid to leave their ‘half-destroyed’ hotel amid reports of looting and violence outside.

Describing the apocalyptic scenes in St Maarten Jos Smart’s father Ian said: ‘They have not had any water for a day.

‘They said the sounds were apocalyptic and they have likened it to a war zone. 

‘They are holed up in a half-demolished bathroom and their phone is running out of battery. There have been rats in their room looking for food.’ 

Bryce White, 26, is stranded in Cuba with girlfriend Sophie Clarke, 23, in a hotel room with six others. They said they had just two litres of water and a few ham sandwiches.

His worried father Richard, 58, from Gloucestershire, said yesterday: ‘They have been told there is no more food or water and have been forced to look for fallen coconuts outside.’

He said some holiday reps on the island ‘disappeared for 24 hours then reappeared, apologised and then got blind drunk’. He added: ‘They keep saying ‘there’s nothing we can do’. We have begged Thomson to fly them home but they say nothing is wrong’.

On St Martin, Cambridgeshire couple Ross McEwan, 61, and wife Lesley, 63, have been marooned for six days.

Mrs McEwan’s sister Elaine Sorensen, 57, said the couple waited for a rescue flight at the airport every day from 5.30am with one Red Cross-issued bottle of water. 

Britain has sent a navy ship and almost 700 troops to help people on the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos islands that were pummeled by the hurricane. Troops are pictured meeting locals in the British Virgin Islands

Britain has sent a navy ship and almost 700 troops to help people on the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos islands that were pummeled by the hurricane. Troops are pictured meeting locals in the British Virgin Islands

Britain has sent a navy ship and almost 700 troops to help people on the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos islands that were pummeled by the hurricane. Troops are pictured meeting locals in the British Virgin Islands

The British government is defending its response to Hurricane Irma amid claims it has been slow to help its overseas territories devastated by the storm. UK troops are pictured on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands

The British government is defending its response to Hurricane Irma amid claims it has been slow to help its overseas territories devastated by the storm. UK troops are pictured on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands

The British government is defending its response to Hurricane Irma amid claims it has been slow to help its overseas territories devastated by the storm. UK troops are pictured on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands

Britain has pledged £32 million in aid and sent hundreds of troops, supplies and rescue equipment on several flights to the British territories in the Caribbean since Friday. They are pictured talking to an islander on storm-ravaged Tortola

Britain has pledged £32 million in aid and sent hundreds of troops, supplies and rescue equipment on several flights to the British territories in the Caribbean since Friday. They are pictured talking to an islander on storm-ravaged Tortola

Britain has pledged £32 million in aid and sent hundreds of troops, supplies and rescue equipment on several flights to the British territories in the Caribbean since Friday. They are pictured talking to an islander on storm-ravaged Tortola

Royal Marines from 40 Commando talk to a local residents in Road Town on Tortola - part of the British Virgin Islands

Royal Marines from 40 Commando talk to a local residents in Road Town on Tortola - part of the British Virgin Islands

Royal Marines from 40 Commando talk to a local residents in Road Town on Tortola – part of the British Virgin Islands

Ruins: The scale of the hurricane's power can be seen in this aerial picture of a town in the British Virgin Islands

Ruins: The scale of the hurricane's power can be seen in this aerial picture of a town in the British Virgin Islands

Ruins: The scale of the hurricane’s power can be seen in this aerial picture of a town in the British Virgin Islands

Entire houses were blown apart on the British Virgin Islands while trees were ripped up and power cables brought down

Entire houses were blown apart on the British Virgin Islands while trees were ripped up and power cables brought down

Entire houses were blown apart on the British Virgin Islands while trees were ripped up and power cables brought down

Sam Branson, the son of tycoon Richard Branson, released a video message, warning of lawlessness in the British Virgin Islands. Pictures show the devastation in the area

Sam Branson, the son of tycoon Richard Branson, released a video message, warning of lawlessness in the British Virgin Islands. Pictures show the devastation in the area

Sam Branson, the son of tycoon Richard Branson, released a video message, warning of lawlessness in the British Virgin Islands. Pictures show the devastation in the area

Luxury yachts are still piled on top of each other in marinas in Road Town, on Tortola - part of the British Virgin Islands. There have been reports of looting in the area

Luxury yachts are still piled on top of each other in marinas in Road Town, on Tortola - part of the British Virgin Islands. There have been reports of looting in the area

Luxury yachts are still piled on top of each other in marinas in Road Town, on Tortola – part of the British Virgin Islands. There have been reports of looting in the area

Buildings were left in ruins and Yachts were piled on top of each other in the harbour and many houses in the hillside capital of Road Town (pictured) on the main island of Tortola were badly damaged

Buildings were left in ruins and Yachts were piled on top of each other in the harbour and many houses in the hillside capital of Road Town (pictured) on the main island of Tortola were badly damaged

Buildings were left in ruins and Yachts were piled on top of each other in the harbour and many houses in the hillside capital of Road Town (pictured) on the main island of Tortola were badly damaged

On patrol: Royal Marines from 40 Commando could be seen walking the streets on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Isles

On patrol: Royal Marines from 40 Commando could be seen walking the streets on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Isles

On patrol: Royal Marines from 40 Commando could be seen walking the streets on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Isles

BRANSON: MARSHALL PLAN NEEDED

Richard Branson has lived in the British Virgin Islands for the past 11 years and weathered Irma on Necker, his private island. In a blog post on virgin.com, he urged a multi-million pound effort to revitalise the Caribbean after the devastation. 

He called for a ‘Disaster Recovery Marshall Plan’ to aid in recovery and the long-term revitalization of its economy – a reference to the multibillion-dollar U.S. program that helped rebuild Western European after World War Two.

‘We must get more help to the islands to rebuild homes and infrastructure and restore power, clean water and food supplies,’ said Branson, head of the Virgin Group conglomerate.

He said he was writing from Puerto Rico, where had traveled to mobilize aid efforts, and said he would be returning to the Virgin Islands soon for recovery work.

Branson said the British government had a ‘massive role to play’ in rebuilding its territories, including the British Virgin Islands, an offshore financial center.

‘The French said that because they hadn’t heard from the Foreign Office in an official request they wouldn’t take them because they didn’t want refugees,’ she said. ‘They watched a half-empty plane take off.’

Charlotte Goffe and her husband Ricky, from Warwickshire, are stuck in Cuba with their young son. Mrs Goffe said it was ‘the honeymoon from hell’. 

One woman claimed US and British tourists had been attacked after they became stranded. Troops were called in on Friday to offset the problem.  

Meanwhile Sam Branson, the son of tycoon Richard Branson, released a video message, warning of lawlessness in the area.

He said: ‘I’ve been getting some updates on the ground out there on the British Virgin Islands and it’s really sad to say that there is a lot of civil unrest. Unfortunately some of the prisoners have escaped and are now armed.’

‘It’s really important if you are helping and you are trying to send supply boats out to the area that you go and get information on the ground from official channels and ideally you have some security on the boats

‘I don’t want to panic anyone but it’s really important people are aware of the situation there. Some areas are okay, some aren’t. Just get the right information. It’s just incredibly tragic. 

Elsewhere, France, which oversees neighbouring Saint Barthelemy and the other half of St Martin, said the police presence on the two islands had been boosted to close to 500.

The French interior ministry said 11 people suspected of ‘malicious actions’ had been arrested since Friday as television footage showed scenes of chaos on the islands, with streets under water, boats and cars tossed into piles and torn rooftops. 

Supplies are pictured stacked up and waiting to be loaded on to a ship in Gibraltar yesterday ahead of a rescue mission to the Caribbean

Supplies are pictured stacked up and waiting to be loaded on to a ship in Gibraltar yesterday ahead of a rescue mission to the Caribbean

Supplies are pictured stacked up and waiting to be loaded on to a ship in Gibraltar yesterday ahead of a rescue mission to the Caribbean

Crew in Gibraltar prepare to move supplies on to the Royal Navy helicopter carrier HMS Ocean before she crosses the Atlantic to provide humanitarian assistance and vital aid to British Overseas Territories and Commonwealth partners affected by Hurricane Irma

Crew in Gibraltar prepare to move supplies on to the Royal Navy helicopter carrier HMS Ocean before she crosses the Atlantic to provide humanitarian assistance and vital aid to British Overseas Territories and Commonwealth partners affected by Hurricane Irma

Crew in Gibraltar prepare to move supplies on to the Royal Navy helicopter carrier HMS Ocean before she crosses the Atlantic to provide humanitarian assistance and vital aid to British Overseas Territories and Commonwealth partners affected by Hurricane Irma

Britain has faced criticism that it has been slow to help its nationals caught up in the disaster - including in the British Virgin Islands, where five people were killed. But Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called the criticism 'completely unjustified'. Military personnel are pictured loading a ship with supplies ahead of a voyage to the Caribbean

Britain has faced criticism that it has been slow to help its nationals caught up in the disaster - including in the British Virgin Islands, where five people were killed. But Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called the criticism 'completely unjustified'. Military personnel are pictured loading a ship with supplies ahead of a voyage to the Caribbean

Britain has faced criticism that it has been slow to help its nationals caught up in the disaster – including in the British Virgin Islands, where five people were killed. But Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called the criticism ‘completely unjustified’. Military personnel are pictured loading a ship with supplies ahead of a voyage to the Caribbean

A member of the Royal Air Force hangs a British Navy White Ensign on an helicopter on board the amphibious assault ship HMS Ocean at the Naval Base in Gibraltar  before leaving to help with the rescue effort in the Caribbean

A member of the Royal Air Force hangs a British Navy White Ensign on an helicopter on board the amphibious assault ship HMS Ocean at the Naval Base in Gibraltar  before leaving to help with the rescue effort in the Caribbean

A member of the Royal Air Force hangs a British Navy White Ensign on an helicopter on board the amphibious assault ship HMS Ocean at the Naval Base in Gibraltar before leaving to help with the rescue effort in the Caribbean

Ready for action: The Royal Navy helicopter carrier HMS Ocean (pictured yesterday) has been loaded up ahead of being sent to the Caribbean to provide vital supplies to the hurricane-hit region

Ready for action: The Royal Navy helicopter carrier HMS Ocean (pictured yesterday) has been loaded up ahead of being sent to the Caribbean to provide vital supplies to the hurricane-hit region

Ready for action: The Royal Navy helicopter carrier HMS Ocean (pictured yesterday) has been loaded up ahead of being sent to the Caribbean to provide vital supplies to the hurricane-hit region

Response: British troops in Gibraltar take a breather as they help to load up a ship destined for the Caribbean

Response: British troops in Gibraltar take a breather as they help to load up a ship destined for the Caribbean

Response: British troops in Gibraltar take a breather as they help to load up a ship destined for the Caribbean

Massimiliano Napoliello, the manager of a bar in Maho Beach, issued a desperate plea for help on Facebook. 

‘The situation in SXM is a HELL! NO WATER NO FOOD NO ELECTRICITY NO COMMUNICATION!! 

‘They are completely isolated and there are CRIMINALS carrying GUNS AND KNIVES SHOOTING and looting all over!! NOTHING IS WORKING, THERE ARE NO RULES, THERE IS NO LAW AND NO PROTECTION RIGHT NOW!!’ he said.  

At the Simpson Bay Resort and Marina, looters went in to unoccupied rooms to steal TVs, one staff member said on Twitter. 

‘A small minority of sxm-er’s were looting our unoccupied rooms until the Dutch military arrived. Not essentials – taking TV’s,’ he said.

The same man said a bank was robbed the next day. 

Laura Conroy’s family were stranded on the island and are now awaiting rescue from US military planes. 

They are taking American citizens to the more developed Puerto Rico. 

She said that through the intermittent contact she has had with her sister, she learned that looting was a problem. ‘Many US citizens are being attacked and robbed,’ she told DailyMail.com. 

Emergency aid: Humanitarian freight is loaded in French Guyana ahead of being sent to French overseas territories

Emergency aid: Humanitarian freight is loaded in French Guyana ahead of being sent to French overseas territories

Emergency aid: Humanitarian freight is loaded in French Guyana ahead of being sent to French overseas territories

Several people still stranded on St Martin (pictured) said looters had begun raiding hotel rooms and homes to profit from the natural disaster

Several people still stranded on St Martin (pictured) said looters had begun raiding hotel rooms and homes to profit from the natural disaster

Several people still stranded on St Martin (pictured) said looters had begun raiding hotel rooms and homes to profit from the natural disaster

A man walks past debris caused by Hurricane Irma in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas on the U.S. Virgin Islands. There are widespread reports of looting throughout Caribbean islands hit by the hurricane

A man walks past debris caused by Hurricane Irma in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas on the U.S. Virgin Islands. There are widespread reports of looting throughout Caribbean islands hit by the hurricane

A man walks past debris caused by Hurricane Irma in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas on the U.S. Virgin Islands. There are widespread reports of looting throughout Caribbean islands hit by the hurricane

Jos Smart, 26, and his girlfriend Julia Taylor, 30, were forced to hide in a smashed up hotel room with rats flooding in looking for food

Jos Smart, 26, and his girlfriend Julia Taylor, 30, were forced to hide in a smashed up hotel room with rats flooding in looking for food

Jos Smart, 26, and his girlfriend Julia Taylor, 30, were forced to hide in a smashed up hotel room with rats flooding in looking for food

Nearly a third of all buildings on the Dutch half of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin were destroyed and more than 90 percent damaged by Hurricane Irma, the Dutch Red Cross said on Tuesday.

The aid agency had surveyed 5,500 structures before the storm and made an assessment based on photographs provided by the Defence Ministry in the Netherlands.

Caretaker Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had said on Sunday an estimated 70 percent of buildings were damaged or destroyed.

‘The damage on St. Martin is greater than previously thought,’ the Red Cross said in a statement. ‘In addition to distributing food and water, the Red Cross is going to ramp up emergency shelter.’

Extra search and rescue experts were also heading to the Dutch territory, where the Red Cross said 200 people were registered as missing.

There were terrifying reports of looting and violence coming out of St Maarten on Friday in the wake of Hurricane Irma 

There were terrifying reports of looting and violence coming out of St Maarten on Friday in the wake of Hurricane Irma 

There were terrifying reports of looting and violence coming out of St Maarten on Friday in the wake of Hurricane Irma 

Massimiliano Napoliello, the general manager of Sky Beach, a bar in Maho Beach, shared this desperate plea on Friday 

Massimiliano Napoliello, the general manager of Sky Beach, a bar in Maho Beach, shared this desperate plea on Friday 

Massimiliano Napoliello, the general manager of Sky Beach, a bar in Maho Beach, shared this desperate plea on Friday 

There were snaking queues at the airport as people desperately waited to be taken off the island

There were snaking queues at the airport as people desperately waited to be taken off the island

There were snaking queues at the airport as people desperately waited to be taken off the island

There were snaking queues at the airport as people desperately waited to be taken off the island

There were snaking queues at the airport as people desperately waited to be taken off the island

A flight with tarpaulins, tents, soap and other supplies would leave on Wednesday, after more than 3 million euros ($3.6 million) was donated in the Netherlands.

The Red Cross said it would use drones to monitor the needs of the population on the island, an independent nation within the Kingdom of the Netherlands with a population of around 40,000.

Last week, Rutte warned the situation was already ‘serious’ and made worse by communication problems after 185mph Irma laid waste to infrastructure.

Witnesses on the Dutch side of the island say people are roaming the streets armed with ‘revolvers and machetes’ while Rutte said most people are surviving without power and running water.

Extra troops and police are arriving on the southern part of the island, which is shared between France and the Netherlands, and part of their job is to help keep order, officials said.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte warned the situation was already 'serious' and made worse by communication problems after 185mph Irma laid waste to infrastructure. A Dutch soldier keeps watch on the island 

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte warned the situation was already 'serious' and made worse by communication problems after 185mph Irma laid waste to infrastructure. A Dutch soldier keeps watch on the island 

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte warned the situation was already ‘serious’ and made worse by communication problems after 185mph Irma laid waste to infrastructure. A Dutch soldier keeps watch on the island 

Witnesses on the Dutch side of the island say people are roaming the streets armed with 'revolvers and machetes' while Rutte said most people are surviving without power and running water. A Dutch Royal Navy officer speaks to a driver at a check point on the island

Witnesses on the Dutch side of the island say people are roaming the streets armed with 'revolvers and machetes' while Rutte said most people are surviving without power and running water. A Dutch Royal Navy officer speaks to a driver at a check point on the island

Witnesses on the Dutch side of the island say people are roaming the streets armed with ‘revolvers and machetes’ while Rutte said most people are surviving without power and running water. A Dutch Royal Navy officer speaks to a driver at a check point on the island

Up to 95 per cent of the island was destroyed as the hurricane pummeled its shores on Wednesday

Up to 95 per cent of the island was destroyed as the hurricane pummeled its shores on Wednesday

Up to 95 per cent of the island was destroyed as the hurricane pummeled its shores on Wednesday

Up to 95 per cent of the island was destroyed as the hurricane pummeled its shores on Wednesday. 

The badly damaged airport and port have now ‘been opened for military purposes,’ Rutte told reporters, adding ‘we are doing everything possible to get aid to the area.’

He said food, water and security were the priorities on the island, known in Dutch as Sint Maarten.

‘We will not abandon Sint Maarten,’ he said, adding that officials were also sending medicines, tents, tarpaulins and hygiene kits as fast as possible to the Caribbean.

‘The military has two tasks after arriving there. Firstly to ensure that there is food and water, but also to ensure security,’ Rutte said.

Extra troops and police are arriving on the southern part of the island, which is shared between France and the Netherlands, and part of their job is to help keep order, officials said

Extra troops and police are arriving on the southern part of the island, which is shared between France and the Netherlands, and part of their job is to help keep order, officials said

Extra troops and police are arriving on the southern part of the island, which is shared between France and the Netherlands, and part of their job is to help keep order, officials said

This was the scene at the island's world famous international airport after the hurricane had lashed it with ferocious winds

This was the scene at the island's world famous international airport after the hurricane had lashed it with ferocious winds

This was the scene at the island’s world famous international airport after the hurricane had lashed it with ferocious winds

‘There are people on the streets armed with revolvers and machetes,’ one witness told the Dutch newspaper AD on Friday. ‘The situation is very serious. No one is in charge.’

Dutch officials have confirmed that one person was killed on the Dutch part of Saint Martin by the Category Five storm, before it was downgraded early Friday to a four as it barrelled towards Cuba and Florida. 

At least 10 people were killed on Cuba, most of them crushed by collapsing buildings, bringing the death toll to 43 in the Caribbean.

St Martin, which shares an island with the French territory of St. Martin, has been autonomous since 2010, but remains part of the Dutch commonwealth.

Dramatic aerial pictures show scenes of devastation on a Caribbean island after it was ravaged by the most powerful hurricane the Atlantic has ever seen. At a port area, shipping containers were strewn like children's building blocks (pictured)

Dramatic aerial pictures show scenes of devastation on a Caribbean island after it was ravaged by the most powerful hurricane the Atlantic has ever seen. At a port area, shipping containers were strewn like children's building blocks (pictured)

Dramatic aerial pictures show scenes of devastation on a Caribbean island after it was ravaged by the most powerful hurricane the Atlantic has ever seen. At a port area, shipping containers were strewn like children’s building blocks (pictured)

Astonishing images show the scale of the destruction on the island of St. Maarten in the aftermath of a direct hit by Category 5 Hurricane Irma

Astonishing images show the scale of the destruction on the island of St. Maarten in the aftermath of a direct hit by Category 5 Hurricane Irma

Astonishing images show the scale of the destruction on the island of St. Maarten in the aftermath of a direct hit by Category 5 Hurricane Irma

Massive waves continued to crash into the coastline of the Dutch side of St Martin last night in the aftermath of the storm

Massive waves continued to crash into the coastline of the Dutch side of St Martin last night in the aftermath of the storm

Massive waves continued to crash into the coastline of the Dutch side of St Martin last night in the aftermath of the storm

Prime Minister Mark Rutte says that most people are surviving on the island without the basic necessities of life. 

Power, running water and most communications were knocked out by the powerful storm and looting has been reported by local authorities struggling to keep control of the island. 

He said the first plane already has landed at the airport in the capital, Philipsburg, and navy vessels have unloaded vital supplies in a race against time before the next storm arrives. 

‘We slept with knives under our beds’: British tourist tells of five terrifying days living in fear of armed looters on lawless St Martin – after there were no Delta check-in staff to print his boarding pass 

A British tourist who spent nearly a week trapped on a lawless Caribbean island struck by Hurricane Irma has revealed he kept a kitchen knife under his bed to protect against looters.

James Tuffin, 32, was left stranded on St Martin after he was unable to check-in for his flight last Monday because no one from Delta Airlines was available to print his boarding pass.

The public relations professional spent a desperate five days hiding in a hotel room with no running water or electricity and armed men on the loose outside, before eventually boarding a US Army flight which took him to safety.

James Tuffin, 32, was left stranded on St Martin after he was unable to check-in for his flight last Monday because no one from Delta Airlines was available to print his boarding pass

James Tuffin, 32, was left stranded on St Martin after he was unable to check-in for his flight last Monday because no one from Delta Airlines was available to print his boarding pass

The public relations professional spent a desperate five days hiding in a hotel room with no running water or electricity

The public relations professional spent a desperate five days hiding in a hotel room with no running water or electricity

James Tuffin,(left) spent a desperate five days hiding in a hotel room(right) with no running water or electricity and armed men on the loose outside

Mr Tuffin, who was on holiday with a friend, said he and his family made numerous calls to the UK Foreign Office for advice, but he was given limited information and no offer of evacuation.

And he warned there were tourists from Britain and other countries still trapped on St Martin and in dire need of help after the storm struck on Wednesday.

He told MailOnline: ‘The days after the storm were terrible. There was no running water or electricity, the toilets would not flush and food supplies were depleting.

‘At nightfall, we would sit in the hotel room in darkness and slept with kitchen knives under our beds because we were so scared someone would break in.

‘One day, our neighbours above us came down because she had seen a man with a gun who had come to her apartment to steal food.

‘She told us to lock ourselves in the room because he was running around outside.

Mr Tuffin, who was on holiday with a friend, said he and his family made numerous calls to the UK Foreign Office for advice, but he was given limited information and no offer of evacuation. He took photos of the devastation, pictured

Mr Tuffin, who was on holiday with a friend, said he and his family made numerous calls to the UK Foreign Office for advice, but he was given limited information and no offer of evacuation. He took photos of the devastation, pictured

Mr Tuffin, who was on holiday with a friend, said he and his family made numerous calls to the UK Foreign Office for advice, but he was given limited information and no offer of evacuation. He took photos of the devastation, pictured

Mr Tuffin warned there were tourists from Britain and other countries still trapped on St Martin and in dire need of help after the storm struck on Wednesday

Mr Tuffin warned there were tourists from Britain and other countries still trapped on St Martin and in dire need of help after the storm struck on Wednesday

Mr Tuffin warned there were tourists from Britain and other countries still trapped on St Martin and in dire need of help after the storm struck on Wednesday

‘On the same day, a Dutch man, also in the hotel, heard there was a man running around with the machete. People were looting – it was terrifying.’

Mr Tuffin, originally from London, arrived at St Martin by boat on September 4 hoping to catch a flight back to New York, where he lives.

He had been on holiday for five days on nearby Anguilla.

But after entering the Princess Juliana International Airport he was unable to find any Delta Airlines staff to check him in because they had already left to process the other people had the gate. 

‘By the time we got to the airport on St Martin we only had ten minutes before check-in was closing, as our boat had been delayed because of the weather,’ he said.

‘The check-in machines weren’t working and I could not use the app. When I got to the Delta desk no one was there, everyone had left already.

Mr Tuffin, originally from London, arrived at St Martin by boat on September 4 hoping to catch a flight back to New York, where he lives

Mr Tuffin, originally from London, arrived at St Martin by boat on September 4 hoping to catch a flight back to New York, where he lives

Mr Tuffin, originally from London, arrived at St Martin by boat on September 4 hoping to catch a flight back to New York, where he lives

After entering the Princess Juliana International Airport Mr Tuffin was unable to find any Delta Airlines staff to check him in because they had already left to process the other people had the gate

After entering the Princess Juliana International Airport Mr Tuffin was unable to find any Delta Airlines staff to check him in because they had already left to process the other people had the gate

After entering the Princess Juliana International Airport Mr Tuffin was unable to find any Delta Airlines staff to check him in because they had already left to process the other people had the gate

‘I was starting to panic, I went to all the other airlines and they said the Delta staff had already left. So we missed the flight, because there was no one available.’

Realising he was unable to leave, Mr Tuffin and his 27-year-old friend Michael found a room at nearby Simpson’s Bay Resort, where they spent the next two nights.

On Wednesday, the pair attended a briefing at the hotel, where the guests were told to gather food and water in preparation for a category five hurricane that was on its way.

After filling pots and pans with water and bringing in provisions from the supermarket, they settled down for the night, before being woken up at 3am by the sound of the storm.

‘By 5am it was really bad,’ Mr Tuffin said. ‘We went inside the bathroom and padded it out with some of the sofa seat cushions and just waited.

‘There was a constant howling noise and the sound of things getting ripped apart.

On Wednesday, the pair attended a briefing at the hotel, where the guests were told to gather food and water in preparation for a category five hurricane that was on its way

On Wednesday, the pair attended a briefing at the hotel, where the guests were told to gather food and water in preparation for a category five hurricane that was on its way

The impact of the storm is shown in these photos, taken my Mr Tuffin

The impact of the storm is shown in these photos, taken my Mr Tuffin

On Wednesday, the pair attended a briefing at the hotel, where the guests were told to gather food and water in preparation for a category five hurricane that was on its way. The impact of the storm is shown in these photos, taken my Mr Tuffin

On Friday Mr Tuffin saw a Dutch military plane landing at the airport, but he was told by hotel staff these were for women and children only. Pictured: General views of the devastation on St Martin

On Friday Mr Tuffin saw a Dutch military plane landing at the airport, but he was told by hotel staff these were for women and children only. Pictured: General views of the devastation on St Martin

On Friday Mr Tuffin saw a Dutch military plane landing at the airport, but he was told by hotel staff these were for women and children only. Pictured: General views of the devastation on St Martin

‘By the morning we looked out and the devastation was horrendous. Every car was upside down, with their windows smashed out, and houses had lost their roofs.

‘But the worst part was that we could not contact the outside world.

‘There were a couple of bars of mobile signal in one part of the resort, which I used to phone my family, but it was hard to get through to anyone else.’

On Friday Mr Tuffin saw a Dutch military plane landing at the airport, but he was told by hotel staff these were for women and children only.

After another terrifying night, he woke up to on Saturday morning to a knock at the door and a worker telling him the US Army was ferrying Americans from the airport.

Thinking that his American visa would get him on board, he went to queue up only to be told by a Marine that they would not be able to take him.

But after waiting until all the Americans had got on board, one of the soldiers said the remaining tourists – seven Britons, a German couple and two French people – would be allowed to join the flight.

Despite the desperate situation they found themselves in, Mr Tuffin said the staff at the hotel and some six hundred guests joined together to share provisions and protect each other

Despite the desperate situation they found themselves in, Mr Tuffin said the staff at the hotel and some six hundred guests joined together to share provisions and protect each other

Despite the desperate situation they found themselves in, Mr Tuffin said the staff at the hotel and some six hundred guests joined together to share provisions and protect each other

Mr Tuffin slammed the British authorities for not doing enough to help, and he stressed there were still tourists trapped on the island who needed urgent aid

Mr Tuffin slammed the British authorities for not doing enough to help, and he stressed there were still tourists trapped on the island who needed urgent aid

Mr Tuffin slammed the British authorities for not doing enough to help, and he stressed there were still tourists trapped on the island who needed urgent aid

Mr Tuffin insisted his hotel 'did a good job with helping people' and housed others  who were made homeless

Mr Tuffin insisted his hotel 'did a good job with helping people' and housed others  who were made homeless

Mr Tuffin insisted his hotel ‘did a good job with helping people’ and housed others  who were made homeless

‘That was one of the most heart-wrenching feelings ever,’ Mr Tuffin said.

‘But we persevered and eventually when all the Americans had been taken onboard the soldiers said we could join to.

‘So, thank God, the American Army saved the day, and we flew in a Hercules to San Juan, on Saturday. And there we got a hotel and yesterday I left to New York.’

Despite the desperate situation they found themselves in, Mr Tuffin said the staff at the hotel and some six hundred guests joined together to share provisions and protect each other.

But he slammed the British authorities for not doing enough to help, and he stressed there were still tourists trapped on the island who needed urgent aid.

On Saturday, Mr Tuffin was eventually able to board a US Army plane that was leaving for Puerto Rico (pictured)

On Saturday, Mr Tuffin was eventually able to board a US Army plane that was leaving for Puerto Rico (pictured)

On Saturday, Mr Tuffin was eventually able to board a US Army plane that was leaving for Puerto Rico (pictured)

Mr Tuffin said the American Army 'saved the day' as he was flown in a Hercules to San Juan, on Saturday before heading on to New York

Mr Tuffin said the American Army 'saved the day' as he was flown in a Hercules to San Juan, on Saturday before heading on to New York

Mr Tuffin said the American Army ‘saved the day’ as he was flown in a Hercules to San Juan, on Saturday before heading on to New York

Mr Tuffin described his ordeal as 'an absolutely terrifying five days' and a situation that was 'still so bad there with people still in desperate need of help.' Pictured: The scene on board the Hercules

Mr Tuffin described his ordeal as 'an absolutely terrifying five days' and a situation that was 'still so bad there with people still in desperate need of help.' Pictured: The scene on board the Hercules

Mr Tuffin described his ordeal as ‘an absolutely terrifying five days’ and a situation that was ‘still so bad there with people still in desperate need of help.’ Pictured: The scene on board the Hercules

He added: ‘It was an absolutely terrifying five days, and the situation is still so bad there with people still in desperate need of help.

‘The hotel did a good job with helping people, including housing other people who were made homeless and everyone shared what they had.  

‘We did not get any information from the British government and just felt completely trapped.

‘I got through to them and heard that they had my details and I should wait for information and to wait for the local authorities.

‘But there were no local authorities – there was no information from anyone. There must be Britons still there. I just don’t know what the UK is doing.’

MailOnline has contacted Delta Airlines and the UK Foreign Office for comment. 


Did you find apk for android? You can find new Free Android Games and apps.

What do you think?

0 points
Upvote Downvote

Total votes: 0

Upvotes: 0

Upvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Downvotes: 0

Downvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *