Hurricane Irma Causes Devastation in the Caribbean

Business | September 7, 2017, Thursday // 15:45| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Hurricane Irma Causes Devastation in the Caribbean pixabay.com

Hurricane Irma has caused widespread destruction across the Caribbean, reducing buildings to rubble and leaving at least 10 people dead.

The small island of Barbuda is said to be "barely habitable". Officials warn that St Martin is almost destroyed, and the death toll is likely to rise.

Irma is a category five hurricane, the highest possible level.

It is currently north of the Dominican Republic, heading towards Turks and Caicos.

The most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade, it has sustained wind speeds of 285km/h (180mph).

Hurricane Irma first struck the dual-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda. At least one death, of a child, was reported on Barbuda, where Prime Minister Gaston Browne said about 95% of the buildings had suffered some damage.

"It's absolute devastation," he said after flying over the island, home to some 1,600 people. "The island is literally under water. In fact, I'm of the view that, as it stands now, Barbuda is barely habitable."

He told the BBC that 50% of the Barbuda population were now homeless and that it would cost $100m (£80m) to rebuild the island.

However, Antigua, with a population of 80,000, escaped major damage, with no loss of life, he said earlier.

St Martin, an island that comprises the French territory of Saint-Martin and the Dutch section Sint-Maarten, suffered terrible damage.

Officials have confirmed at least eight deaths in Saint-Martin and Saint Barthélemy, popularly known as St Barts.

"It's an enormous catastrophe - 95% of the island is destroyed," top local official Daniel Gibbs said of Saint-Martin.

Sint-Maarten's airport, the third largest in the Caribbean, has been seriously damaged.

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Tags: Hurricane Irma, devastation, Caribbean
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