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Looting reported on Caribbean island struck by hurricane

Extra police were deployed to St Martin to maintain order on the French territory.

Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean territory before moving on to Cuba and later the US
Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean territory before moving on to Cuba and later the US AP

Armed looters on the Caribbean island of St Martin are reported to have been taking advantage of the destruction wrought there by Hurricane Irma.

Tourist Michael Auger told ITV News that people had been armed with machetes and that he had heard a woman being held at gunpoint in the hotel room above him.

"There was a woman screaming in the hotel room above us who was being held," he told ITV News via the internet. "We didn't know what to do."

Mr Auger, who weathered the storm on the Caribbean island before being evacuated to Puerto Rico by US military personnel, said that people had pulled together in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane.

He said it was only a day later that lawlessness had started to become a problem in the Caribbean territory, home to five-star resorts and a multi-million dollar estate owned by President Donald Trump.

Speaking to FranceInfo, French interior minister Gerard Collomb confirmed that there had been scenes of looting in the aftermath of the hurricane.

France's President Emmanuel Macron will visit the island on Tuesday.

The Caribbean islands of St Martin, St Barts, St Thomas, Barbuda and Anguilla were all struck by the hurricane before it moved on to pummel Cuba and later made landfall in Florida.

More than 1,100 police, military officials and others were deployed to St Martin and the nearby French Caribbean territory of St Barts, both of which have been devastated by Hurricane Irma.

On the Dutch side of the island, known a St Maarten, the death toll from the hurricane was raised to four on Sunday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.

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