Hurricane Irma has left behind an “apocalyptic wasteland” in the Caribbean, killing at least 24 so far, and causing unprecedented destruction in its wake in the British Virgin Islands, Barbuda and St Martin.
Video footage shot by a drone (above) shows the devastating effects of the storm in Tortola, the biggest of the British Virgin Islands, as it destroyed buildings, greenery, vehicles, and infrastructure all across the isle. Most of the island is still without electricity and communication, while many are homeless, or unaccounted for.
A curfew was imposed in the island to prevent looting and robbery, while French, American and British relief, and the Royal Navy were dispatched to the region for relief efforts. Sophie Leroy, a previous resident of Tortola told The Telegraph, “I really don’t think people understand the scale of destruction. I have been through many hurricanes. This is like nothing I have ever seen in my entire life. It (Tortola) is uninhabitable, and will be for months.”
Paul Exner, an American citizen in Tortola, detailed his terrifying fight for survival on Facebook, and posted a video plea to Facebook (below). “It is fairly critical that aid in terms of food and water is brought to the island,” he said, as he also alleged that more than 100 prisoners escaped after Hurricane Irma ravaged the prison.
Sam Branson, son of Richard Branson, the Virgin billionaire, appealed for help on Instagram (below). “If you have boats, then please get them to the BVI. Going to be harrowing to see my home and so many others’ beloved place so decimated but will do all I can to get aid to the people that need it most.” He told The Daily Mail, “The boats are piled up like matchsticks in the harbour. Huge cargo ships were thrown out of the water and into rocks. Resorts have been decimated.”
Barbuda, a tiny island with only about 1,600 residents, was also one of the most severely impacted areas as the eye of the hurricane passed over it. Prime Minister Gaston Browne told media that the storm damaged about 90 percent of the buildings, leaving the nation “literally a rubble”.
AP reported that damages, by Saturday, in the Caribbean amounted to more than $1.4 billion.
Hurricane Irma has now attacked Florida, where a state of emergency and warnings have been issued as they brace themselves for the most “catastrophic storm” the state has ever seen.
A Twittter user posted an unbelievable video (below) which showed the ocean water “missing” because of strong winds.