(PLTM) - Today marks the 6th anniversary of Hurricane Irma, a devastating natural disaster that left a lasting impact on the British Virgin Islands and surrounding regions.
Governor John Rankin has issued a statement acknowledging the anniversary, reflecting on the progress made since that fateful day and emphasizing the importance of remaining prepared for future hurricane seasons.
In his statement, Governor Rankin expressed his heartfelt sympathies for those who continue to grapple with the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which struck in 2017.
He noted that the memories of the destruction and hardship caused by these hurricanes remain vivid in his mind. However, he also commended the resilience and determination of the local communities in their efforts to rebuild and recover.
"My thoughts are with everyone whose lives have been impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria," Governor Rankin stated. "I saw for myself the devastation that the hurricanes caused, and while there is still more to be done, to arrive where we have today is commendable. It is vital that lessons are learned from 2017, and that we all remain prepared this hurricane season," the Governor stated.
Following the unprecedented destruction brought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the United Kingdom swiftly deployed a significant military humanitarian and disaster relief force to the British Virgin Islands. This support included vital security measures, humanitarian supplies, disaster relief efforts, and engineering support to aid in the Territory's recovery.
As part of the 2023 hurricane season, the UK has stated its commitment to the region's safety and preparedness. HMS Dauntless, a Royal Navy warship, currently stands ready in the Caribbean to support the British Virgin Islands in case another hurricane strikes the region. The vessel is strategically positioned to respond quickly to natural disasters during the hurricane season, which runs from June to November, ensuring that rapid and effective assistance is readily available.
The presence of HMS Dauntless underscores the UK's dedication to the well-being and resilience of the British Virgin Islands, as well as its ongoing partnership with the region to mitigate the impact of future natural disasters.
On this solemn anniversary, Governor Rankin's words serve as a reminder of the importance of unity, preparedness, and resilience in the face of adversity.
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