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EXCLUSIVE: Final Aid Drops As Hurricane Maria Approaches Turks & Caicos

Forces News has joined aid drops on the British overseas territory of Turks and Caicos ahead of Hurricane Maria's arrival.

Personnel from on board RFA Mounts Bay used a Royal Navy Wildcat Wildcat helicopters to distribute aid in areas that have been cut off.  

There are approximately 70 UK military and personnel on Grand Turk who "are as prepared as possible", according to Royal Navy Lieutenant Stephen Dunning.

Royal Marine Hurricane Irma
A Royal Marine fixes the roof of a government building ahead of the storm

Winds of up to 110mph are predicted to lash the Turks and Caicos as the storm sweeps past the islands on Thursday night - with a hurricane warning issued.

Emergency steps have been undertaken on the islands to prepare for the looming onslaught, as residents and UK troops hunker down in anticipation of the worst.

Lt Stephen Dunning said one concern is that the high winds which Maria could unleash will see debris picked up and "thrown around like a washing machine".

Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130J Hercules aircraft

A Royal Canadian Air Force Hercules aircraft, carrying 5.5 tonnes of UK Aid building material, plus additional food and water, landed on Grand Turk to replenish British troops supplies ahead of Maria's imminent arrival.

Lt Stephen Dunning said, "we have concentrated on preparation for this over the last couple of days - as soon as we knew it was heading our way,".

"Supplies and stores have come in, so as soon as the storm has passed we can get out and assist where we can, just like we have for the last week."

Despite the storm tracking to the east of Turks and Caicos, he said the worry is whether any new damage could set back repairs already completed in the wake of Irma.

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