Trapped residents desperate to get off British Virgin Islands as aid finally arrives

Residents are desperate to get off the British Virgin Islands after it took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma.

Four people were killed and homes and businesses were last week flattened by the Category 5 storm, which has since been downgraded to a Category 1 as it moves over the United States.

Britain has sent troops and extra police to the islands with reports of looting after a delay in assistance.

Those who can't wait for help are desperate to fly out, with families taking shelter at the airport at Tortola and waiting.

Heather Robinson and her baby son Luke lost everything in the storm.

"Our house literally got sucked away from around us," she said.

"I'm really scared.

"We went through our rubble and found a thing of peanut butter and some crackers and biscuits, but that's not going to keep us much longer."

Claudine Vourdon, a restaurant owner, is pregnant and desperate to get back to the safety of Britain.

Claudine Vourdon (right) is pregnant and fears going into labour. Credit: ITV News

"I'm not able to help right now so I may as well get out and don't become a problem," she said,

"If I go into early labour then someone has to look after me and that's not fair."

With most of the islands' tourist marinas obliterated, the main source of income has also been cut.

The islands' tourist industry has been hard by Hurricane Irma Credit: ITV News

The British Government has defended its response to the hurricane, denying claims it has not done enough to those affected in the Caribbean.

Priti Patel, International Development minister, said the government's response to the disaster had been "swift".

She told ITV News that No 10 was working with local authorities on affected Caribbean islands "every single day".

"The British government has been swift in terms of our combined operation with the Foreign Office, the Ministry of Defence and also in getting the aid out to the British overseas territories," she said.