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French President to visit hurricane Irma-hit territories

IANS | Paris |

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday would visit French Caribbean islands, which were struck by hurricane Irma last week, his office announced Monday.

Macron is expected to fly to Guadeloupe, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy “to show his solidarity with the inhabitants of the disaster areas,” Xinhua quoted a statement as saying.

Earlier on Monday, Interior Minister Gerrard Collomb said Macron would announce measures aimed “to prepare the future” of Saint Martin, the island that Irma had totally ravaged during its path.

Macron’s travel to the stricken zones is widely seen as an attempt to water down critics over his poor handling of the disaster.

Earlier this week, Irma, with maximum sustained wind speed of 360km per hour, demolished French Caribbean islands through its path before downgrading from category 5 to category 4 on Friday.

The most powerful storm in a century killed nine people in French Caribbean islands. Seven others were reported missing and 112 were wounded, according to official data.