France's Macron to visit hurricane Irma-hit overseas territories

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-12 01:35:06|Editor: yan
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PARIS, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- French President Emmanuel Macron will visit on Tuesday French Caribbean islands, which are hardly struck by hurricane Irma last week, his office announced Monday.

Macron is expected to fly to Guadeloupe, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy "to show his solidarity with the inhabitants of the disaster areas," it said in a statement.

Earlier on Monday, Interior Minister Gerrard Collomb said Macron will announce measures aimed "to prepare the future" of Saint Martin, the island that Irma had totally ravaged during its path.

Macron's travel to the stricken zones is widely seen as an attempt to water down critics over his poor handling of the disaster.

Opponents from the hard left "Unbowed France," far-right National Front (FN) and center-right The Republicans party asked the creation of a parliamentary inquiry commission, accusing Macron and his executive team of being poorly prepared to fix such troubles.

Earlier this week, Irma, with maximum sustained wind speed of 360 km per hour, demolished French Caribbean islands through its path before downgrading from category 5 to category 4 last Friday.

The most powerful storm in a century killed nine people in French Caribbean islands. Seven others were reported missing and 112 were wounded, according to official data.

In its estimate, the state-run CCR reinsurer group said damages caused by hurricane Irma in France's overseas islands of Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy were valued at 1.2 billion euros (1.43 billion U.S. dollars). (1 euro = 1.196 U.S. dollar)