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AFP / A resident takes cover from the rain in Cap-Haitien on September 7, 2017, as Hurricane Irma approaches
Hurricane Irma began battering Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands Thursday, after leaving a trail of destruction across the Caribbean killing at least 14 people. Follow events with FRANCE 24’s liveblog.
Haiti and the Domincan Republic were the latest Caribbean nations to feel the wrath of Hurricane Irma, which has led a trail of destruction across the region.
At least four people were killed on the French side of Saint Martin, an island divided between French and Dutch administration, according to French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. A fifth was killed on the Dutch side of the island, the Dutch interior minister said. The president of the French territorial council for Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy, Daniel Gibbs, said on Radio Caraibes International that the French part of Saint Martin is “95 percent destroyed”.
At least three fatalities have been confirmed in Puerto Rico. According to the territory’s governor, 900,000 people are without power and nearly 50,000 are without water.
One toddler was killed in Barbuda while another person was killed in Anguilla, officials said.
Another four people have been killed in the US Virgin Islands, according to a government spokesperson.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda said nearly every building on Barbuda was damaged and about half of the island’s 1,800 people are now homeless.
Speaking at a crisis centre set up at the interior ministry, French President Emmanuel Macron said he expects the final toll in terms of deaths and damage “will be harsh and cruel” and a national reconstruction plan will be drawn up for the affected territories. The French president will visit the affected areas “as soon as possible”.
The hurricane reached the tiny Turks and Caicos islands late Thursday and is next expected to head towards Cuba, the Bahamas and Florida.Source: France 24