MEA says in touch with Indians hit by Hurricane Irma

RSTV Bureau

The External Affairs Ministry said today that it was monitoring the situation and communicating with the Indian diaspora in the US, Venezuela, France and the Netherlands in the wake of deadly Hurricane Irma.

In this image made from video, neighbors clear debris from the road in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. Hurricane Irma weakened slightly Thursday with sustained winds of 175 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm boasted 185 mph winds for a more than 24-hour period, making it the strongest storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. The storm was expected to arrive in Cuba by Friday. It could hit the Florida mainland by late Saturday, according to hurricane center models.

In this image made from video, neighbors clear debris from the road in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. Hurricane Irma weakened slightly Thursday with sustained winds of 175 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm boasted 185 mph winds for a more than 24-hour period, making it the strongest storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. The storm was expected to arrive in Cuba by Friday. It could hit the Florida mainland by late Saturday, according to hurricane center models.

The ministry’s spokesman Raveesh Kumar said the Indian missions in the four countries were in touch with local government officials to provide assistance to the affected Indians.

“Our missions in Venezuela, the Netherlands, France, and the US are constantly monitoring the situation following destruction due to hurricane Irma. They are in constant touch with the Indian diaspora affected by Irma and with local government officials to provide all possible assistance,” Kumar said in a series of tweets.

Irma, a category 5 hurricane with winds swirling at 260 kilometres per hour, barrelled towards Florida after making landfall in Cuba’s Camaguey Archipelago. It killed at least 19 people and damaged thousands of homes on the Caribbean islands.

France said at least 10 people have been killed across its Caribbean territories with seven more missing. Two people died on the Dutch side of the Saint Martin island.

The External Affairs Ministry spokesman tweeted telephone numbers for Indians to contact in case of emergency: Embassy of India, Venezuela (+58 4241951854/4142214721); Netherlands (+31247247247); France (0800000971).

The Indian embassy in the Netherlands tweeted that they were in touch with the Dutch government.

The Indian embassy in Caracas in Venezuela was also monitoring the situation in Saint Martin and “coordinating the welfare of all Indians living there.