France's president and the Dutch king visited Caribbean territories on Tuesday that have been hammered by Hurricane Irma, trying to quell accusations by residents that European governments were unprepared, slow to react and sometimes even racist in their responses to the devastation.
Faced with a mammoth recovery process and a fix bill expected to reach the millions in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild St Martin as a "model island". St. Martin was one of the hardest-hit islands where 10 people were killed.
Extra search and rescue experts were also heading to the Dutch territory, where the Red Cross said 200 people were registered as missing. "We've got eight boats, three directly with this company, who are coming to help run trips to St. John", he said.
It was "an illusion" that islanders could prepare properly for Jose's arrival, said Dutch Navy commander Peter Jan de Vin.
Johana Soudiagom was disturbed to find herself among a tiny handful of non-whites evacuated by boat to nearby Guadeloupe after Irma devastated the island.
"I don't want to rebuild St Martin as it was ..."
Speaking in Guadeloupe, Macron promised to rebuild the French territories flattened by Irma, namely St. Martin and St. Barts.
Despite Irma's destruction, many islanders counted their blessings as Hurricane Jose, which followed on the super-storm's heels, spared them further disaster.
She said: "I was out this morning and this afternoon and there was looting right there in front of my eyes".
Although there has been criticism of the respective governments' response in France and in the Netherlands, whose territory St. Maarten saw looting and violence, it is the United Kingdom government that has come under the most fire. At least five people died in the British territories.
"It's been very useful to see for myself what awful damage this storm has done and in this way to also show the population of St. Martin and the governor and prime minister that we stand together here as a kingdom and that we will solve this together", he told reporters.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will visit the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla to see the relief effort first-hand, according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Electricity was restored at Anguilla hospital within days and nearly 1,000 military personnel have been deployed to the Carribbean, Mr Duncan said.
The island was severely damaged after it was battered by Irma, with the French government believing more than two thirds of the houses on the island have been completely destroyed, with tens of thousands said to be without clean water or electricity.
"The geography of the homes was not adapted to the risks".
The Dutch and French said they would send more troops to join the 265 military personnel that were already stationed in St. Martin, but the response seemed aimed largely at stopping the so-called "looting".
Eleven people have been arrested for theft, it said.
"I've never experienced a hurricane before in my life".