Emmanuel Macron vows to rebuild French Caribbean after Hurricane Irma devastation

Hurricane Irma's Caribbean destruction

France prepares emergency aid to St. Barthelemy and St. Martin, islands devastated by Hurricane Irma

French President Emmanuel Macron is heading to the hurricane-battered French Caribbean island of St. Martin on Tuesday as his government fends off criticism of its handling of the disaster.

Martin-French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to step up security and stop a growing epidemic of lawlessness amid food and water shortages here following Hurricane Irma.

Collomb said the pillaging that hit St. Martin after Irma has stopped.

On Sunday British Prime Minister Theresa May announced a £32 million ($42 million) relief fund to support the humanitarian effort. A tanker with 350 tons of fresh water was also on its way.

Blondel Cluff, Anguilla's representative to the U.S. and the European Union, told CNN that 15,000 people were now stranded on the island and dependent on humanitarian aid for their basic needs. "The geography of the homes was not adapted to the risks". "It is certain that some want to leave, and we will help them in that effort".

But as European politicians also fly out to their overseas territories and promise reconstruction, the administrative complexities of these tiny islands makes a coordinated response hard, aid officials and experts say. "We are feeling very much like the step-child", Josephine Gumbs-Connor, an Anguillan lawyer, told CNN on Monday. "It's not about putting us on intravenous care for 20 years but getting us to be able to stand on our own two feet again and have a proper grown-up relationship". She said the storm hit at about 2 a.m., and at 4 a.m., they realized the 7th floor of the hotel was flooded.

The consulate said it was working with the USA and other governments to try to figure out how to get the Americans off the island either by air or boat.

As Macron headed to St. Martin, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb announced that France was now working on delivering water to affected neighborhoods across the island.

Dutch Navy commander Peter Jan de Vin said it was "an illusion" that islanders could prepare properly for Jose's arrival.

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 brown stubble.

On the island of Barbuda, the government estimates 95 percent of buildings were damaged. However, they were evacuated by plane early this morning to Puerto Rico.

"We have put in place one of the biggest air bridges since World War II" to bring emergency aid and rescuers to the islands of St. Martin and St. Barts, he said.

Debris still clogs the streets, many homes are uninhabitable, communications are still down and tens of thousands are without food, water or power. There are now 1,500 French helpers in the islands. He was supposed to return to Paris, but he wanted to remain a little more on the spot, to show solidarity with the helpers and the inhabitants of the island who lost everything.

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