Prince Charles Caribbean Tour

"Utterly Heartbreaking" Prince Charles Describes Damage Left By Hurricanes In The Carribean

The Princes of Wales visits Antigua and Barbuda, The British Virgin Islands and Dominica.

Prince Charles Caribbean Tour

Prince Charles has described the damage to the environment, loss of life and general destruction caused by the hurricanes that ripped through the Caribbean as "utterly heartbreaking".

Charles, who is on a three-day visit to the Carribean, has made it a personal mission to see the damage for himself.

At a Friday night reception in the capital of Antigua, Charles said:

"And so it was painful beyond words to see the devastation that was so cruelly wrought across the Caribbean by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in those few, terrible weeks in September.

"In Barbuda as well as in the British Overseas Territories of Anguilla, Turks and Caicos, and the British Virgin Islands; in Dominica, and in Puerto Rico, Saint Martin and other islands too, the loss of life and property and the damage to the natural environment have been utterly heartbreaking."

The trip also coincides with the UK Government reaffirming its commitment to "stand by" the islands and the announcement of a further £15million in support.

Penny Mordaunt Caribbean Trip

The new International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, who is joining the heir to the throne during his brief Caribbean tour, launched the financial package, allocating £12 million for Dominica and £3 million for Antigua and Barbuda.

She said:

“The UK aid mission was huge, covering small islands stretching more than 1,000 miles apart, where buildings, airports and infrastructure had been razed to the ground.

“I want to pay tribute to the governments of the Overseas Territories, our humanitarian staff and to the military effort, which has been absolutely essential in delivering relief.

“Now as we move on from the immediate response phase, on to the long-term future of the islands, Britain will continue to stand by people whose lives were devastated.

“We are also talking to the international private sector who can support the reconstruction efforts to make sure the islands can build back, and better.”

Hurricane Irma was a category 5 storm which hit the British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos and Antigua and Barbuda at the beginning of September.

It was closely followed by Hurricane Maria which affected Dominica, leaving 98% of buildings damaged and thousands without power. It was the first category five hurricane to hit the island in living memory, affecting almost the entire 70,000 population.