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Royal Marines have been deployed to the Caribbean to assist in the humanitarian efforts following the devastation left from Hurricane Irma.
More than 200 Royal Marines have flown out to the region with engineers, medical supplies and aid, including emergency shelter kits & clean water.
In Tortola, marines from Alpha Company have worked to move a collapsed radio mast within the police station. The mast has been blocking crucial access to other areas on the island. The capital of the Virgin Islands was one of the worst affected areas following the storm.
The Taunton-based marines were expecting to head out to the Mediterranean this week on exercises, but as the lead commando group were instead activated on Thursday. They flew on a Royal Air Force transporter by 10am on Friday, and were in the Caribbean by the day's end. The commandos are now on the ground, ready to start joint patrolling and providing reassurance with the local police.
Previously in the week, RFA Mounts Bay also arrived in the region, bringing with it 40 Royal Marines to help rebuild vital infrastructure that was damaged in the category 5 hurricane. The island of Barbados is acting as the hub for the operation, which has been given the codename ‘Op Ruman’.
The death roll from Irma has now officially risen to 23, with huge damage made to infrastructure & homes. A pledge of £32 million in aid has been made from the UK Government.
'I give them this commitment – I recognise that our immediate concern is ensuring the support is there and every effort is there as this hurricane is devastating these islands, but at the Cobra today I also ensured that a piece of work was being put in place, already started, on long-term planning.'
Prime Minster, Theresa May