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Nine Hungarians Stranded In Caribbean

Nine Hungarians trapped on the island of St. Martin by the devastation of Hurricane Irma have requested help either directly or via their family members from the Hungarian government, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó announced on Monday.

He said most of the nine are couples who have been living in the Caribbean region for some time, but now want to leave, “therefore it is our duty to lend them a helping hand”.

Szijjártó told ATV yesterday evening that the ministry has rented a 14-seater aircraft to rescue the Hungarians.

He confirmed that the ministry is in constant contact with Dutch and American crisis centres, but as they are busy rescuing their own citizens, he decided that the ministry should arrange to retrieve the Hungarians.

The northern part of the island is under French rule and the southern part under Dutch authority.

Szijjártó told his afternoon press conference that from Budapest it is hard to judge how the authorities had prepared for the catastrophe, but the island has been destroyed by the hurricane, neither infrastructure nor communications links have really been restored, and so far only military planes are permitted to land.

Szijjártó added that a Hungarian honorary consul is devoting his efforts to solving the situation.

Since Irma struck the Caribbean island last Thursday, 95% of the buildings have been damaged and there is no electricity or drinking water available.

Source: Hungary Around the Clock

This news item is one of many published daily by HATC, a premier subscription news service which distributes English-language info about Hungary via email or fax. For a free trial of HATC visit www.hatc.hu and click on ‘Free Trial Subscription’.

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