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Millions Threatened by Hurricane Maria
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Sir Richard Branson calls for 'Marshall Plan' for British Virgin Islands in wake of hurricanes Maria and Irma
Sir Richard Branson has called for a "Marshall Plan" to rebuild the British Virgin Islands in the wake of the devastation of Hurricane Irma and fears of further damage by Hurricane Maria. The Virgin Group founder, who is currently in New York to push for greater action on climate change at the UN General Assembly, said that he feared Hurricane Maria would add to the "catastrophic damage" the islands had suffered earlier this month. #BVI needs the world?s attention now ? helping local communities with Hurricane #Maria prep, survival & recovery https://t.co/uB3B1lj1tnpic.twitter.com/dh5NPf5kRs? Richard Branson (@richardbranson) September 18, 2017 Hurricane Maria was following a similar path to Irma, and strengthened to a category five storm on Monday night. Richard Branson on Necker Island Credit: Virgin.com/Virgin.com The US National Hurricane Centre declared it had upgraded the hurricane to its highest category after recording 160mph winds and issued warnings for islands including the British Virgin Islands and Montserrat. UK International Development Secretary, Priti Patel, said the Government is under no illusion about the possible impact of Maria and said they are taking steps to prepare communities. Damage on Necker Island Credit: Virgin.com/Virgin.com Sir Richard's private Necker island, which is part of the British Virgin islands, was devastated earlier in September by Hurricane Irma. Writing on his Virgin blog on Monday, the British billionaire said that his team "are doing everything we can to help people on the ground to prepare, and aid efforts are continuing". Damage on Necker Island, British Virgin Islands Credit: Virgin.com/Virgin.com "These hurricanes are causing unimaginable destruction; in the BVI infrastructure has collapsed, but we are working hard with some incredible partners, from the Royal Marines to aid agencies, the Puerto Rican authorities to the local BVIslanders, to help get the islands back on their feet," he wrote. "My thoughts are turning to working with others to help create a long-term Marshall Plan for the BVI, and for the Caribbean to be reconstructed and rejuvenated with clean energy and new jobs. However, as they prepare for another hurricane, the BVI?s people need the world's attention now." Sir Richard has launched the BVI Community Support Appeal to raise funds for those affected by the hurricanes. Hurricane Irma batters the Caribbean, in pictures
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