RELIEF efforts are under way on islands devastated by Hurricane Irma, as it headed for Florida and a second “extremely dangerous” storm threatened the Caribbean.

Some ravaged areas are preparing for further damage as Hurricane Jose, which has been upgraded to category four, travels through the Atlantic.

Medical supplies and other aid are being flown from Britain to the areas worst affected by Irma, following a £32 million pledge from the UK Government, while a Scottish charity has appealed for donations to help with those caught up in the disaster.

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The government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, which were “pummelled” overnight, declared a national shutdown as the hurricane continued its destructive path towards America.

The National:

The death toll from Irma has risen to 20 with four more people believed to have died on the British Virgin Islands, it is reported.

The National Hurricane Centre said the storm is likely to move near the north coast of Cuba and central Bahamas today and approach Florida by tomorrow.

The head of the US federal emergency agency has said the hurricane will ‘‘devastate’’ either Florida or neighbouring states.

Life-threatening wind, rain and a storm surge are expected in the Turks and Caicos Islands today.

Forecasters said Hurricane Jose could affect already-hit areas with the British Virgin Islands on tropical storm watch, and the Commonwealth islands of Barbuda and Antigua and the British territory of Anguilla on hurricane watch.

The National:

The British Virgin Islands, which saw houses reduced to their foundations and roads impassable in the wake of Irma, has already declared a state of emergency.

Images posted on social media showed entire structures razed to the ground, with debris scattered across the streets.

A third hurricane, Katia, is threatening eatsern Mexico.

Experts have said the appearances of three strong hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin which all threaten land is ‘‘unparalleled’’ in modern times.

There has been criticism of the UK Government’s response to Irma, with some saying more should have been done to prepare for the devastation.

Labour MP Virendra Sharma, who sits on the International Development Committee, said there had been a “lack of vision and lack of proper response”.

The National:

Theresa May’s spokeswoman dismissed criticism the UK lagged behind France and the Netherlands in taking care of its territories in the path of the hurricane.

The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (Sciaf) yesterday launched an appeal to help some of the world’s poorest communities devastated by the onslaught.

Charlotte Hull of Sciaf said: “If these people don’t get immediate clean water, food and shelter in the first few hours they run the risk of the disease spreading.”

which can make this disaster even worse,” said SCIAF’s head of fundraising Charlotte Hull.

“Early reports are that storms have caused quite a lot of damage in areas of Haiti, which have already been devastated by earthquake in 2010 and last year’s hurricane, with people’s homes being destroyed by flooding across the north.”

The Foreign Office has set up a hotline for people affected by the disaster and for people whose loved ones may be affected, on 020 7008 0000.

lThe Scottish Government’s Humanitarian Emergency Fund is distributing £300,000 to help support people left homeless following floods that ravaged South Asia.