A SHIP carrying fire engines and other emergency equipment sets sail from Portsmouth this morning to assist in the aftermath of hurricane Maria.
Following a request from the chief fire officer of the British Virgin Islands, two fire engines, five lighting towers and tonnes of CGI sheets have been loaded onto the Dutch vessel this morning as the UK government continues to assist in the relief effort.
The lighting towers are being sent to assist those without access to electricity and power supplies while the CGI sheeting acts as a versatile building material which can be used to construct temporary housing.
UK aid teams have been working on the ground in Dominica since the extreme weather caused devastation in the Caribbean.
The Department for International Development sent field teams to the island on September 20 to assess the impact of the Category 5 hurricane. Their initial findings suggest 90 per cent of buildings are damaged or destroyed.
A Red Cross appeal to help victims of both hurricane Maria and hurricane Irma has already reached over £2m.
International Development Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘This is an unprecedented crisis with two hurricanes of such brutal force hitting the Caribbean in less than a fortnight.
‘Our focus now is on making sure the islands affected have the right supplies in the right places to deal with the aftermath of the latest hurricane.
‘The British public has once again shown its overwhelming generosity in a time of crisis by helping out the victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.’