News story

COBR meeting, 18 September 2017: Sir Alan Duncan's statement on Hurricanes Irma and Maria

The Minister for the Americas spoke following the COBR meeting on how the UK government is preparing in advance of Hurricane Maria.


Minister for the Americas Sir Alan Duncan said:

I’m back in the Crisis Centre because once again we’ve had another meeting of COBR, which is our emergency committee, because we’re looking at an unprecedented sequence of events where having had so many hurricanes there’s now a serious danger that we’re going to get yet another.

So we are tracking Hurricane Maria and as you can see behind me we’ve got all the details to see where it’s going, and we have to prepare for the worst but hope for the best. But one of the consequences of having these earlier hurricanes is we’ve got a lot of people and equipment in place.

So what we are very vigorously doing now is trying to anticipate where the damage might lie, and pre-positioning supplies and all of the equipment that can lead to the maximum resilience for these poor people who’ve been hit once and might be hit again.

So we are focusing of course on our Overseas Territories, which on this occasion might include Montserrat, which was lightly affected last time, but we are working around the clock to do our very best. And I’d urge everybody to follow the travel advice which we are regularly updating.

Be assured that we are doing our utmost to anticipate where help is needed and to make sure that if this hurricane hits people, and hits them again, we will be there to deliver the need that people will want.

Sir Alan Duncan’s statement

Published 18 September 2017