Britain ups aid for storm-hit Caribbean, but Brexit fears loom

Sir Richard Branson

Before and after satellite images reveal the devastation Hurricane Irma left behind in its wake last week when it was a monster Category 5 storm that churned over several Caribbean islands.

The billionaire businessman was pictured in front of torn-down buildings and uprooted trees on his private island Necker.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has travelled to the region to see the impact of the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, and said the extra money was needed "massively".

Giving an update to MPs, Sir Alan said five people had died in the British Virgin Islands and four in Anguilla.

At least 37 people were killed in the Caribbean, with 12 dead in Florida, four killed in SC and two in Georgia. "Be that as it may, we are exceptionally blessed to have a solid basement incorporated with Necker's Great House and were extremely fortunate the greater part of our groups who remained on Island amid the tempest are sheltered and well".

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It hit Florida over the weekend, bringing widespread flooding and leaving more than 2.1 million homes and businesses without power, and the category-three storm is now expected to tear up the state's west coast.

"But hundreds of dedicated British public servants are doing their utmost to help and they will not relent in their efforts".

Massive 10ft (3.1m) storm surges overwhelmed roads and buildings, and cut off Florida Keys from the mainland.

The weather system is continuing to weaken, and the National Hurricane Centre says Irma will likely have dissipated by Tuesday evening.

But forecasters have warned the threat to life still remains.

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Matt and Zoe Caveney, from Liverpool, were forced to spend much of their honeymoon confined to their hotel room at Walt Disney World in Orlando. "We got through [hurricanes] Hugo and Marilyn".

"But there are things we are going to have to do in the long term to make this island more economically self-sufficient and even more resilient, and we will certainly be thinking about that". Knowing our wonderful team, and I imagine it will be a little less wine in the cellar when we ressortirons.

When asked what he hopes to gain from the trip, he said it is "very, very important people at home understand the savagery of the storm that has hit communities that are British".

Mr Johnson told Today: "You can see an unprecedented British effort to deal with what has been an unprecedented catastrophe for the region".

Additional UK government staff are on standby to provide assistance once the hurricane has passed.

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