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Danish emergency assistance for the US Virgin Islands

10.5.2017  22:55

The Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) is dispatching a team to the U.S. Virgin Islands to assist in recovery efforts following the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

- The U.S. Virgin Islands were severely damaged by the hurricanes in September, and critical infrastructure is still not working,” Denmark’s Minister of Defence, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, confirmed:

 - Due to Denmark’s special relationship with the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Danish government has decided to assist in the recovery efforts. In cooperation with U.S. Virgin Islands and US authorities, we have found a really good match between what is needed locally  and what we can provide in terms of capabilities.

The DEMA emergency team will consist of 14 people who will be devoted to restoring critical infrastructure, including the rebuilding of the Islands’ damaged schools.

The team will be divided into five subgroups to provide more efficient and rapid assistance to affected communities. The five subgroups consist of a management team that will coordinate all efforts with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local authorities; a logistical team; and three fully-equipped independent working teams. The teams are expected to arrive in the U.S. Virgin Islands by October 6 and the mission is expected to last 10-12 weeks.

The U.S. Virgin Islands, which includes the islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island (formerly known as the Danish West Indies), was severely damaged in September when the two hurricanes battered the US territory just days apart.

The Danish relief effort is the result of a cooperation agreement between Danish, U.S. Virgin Islands, and US authorities. The Danish Ministry of Defence is financing the emergency assistance.