Hurricane Irma hit people and property hard in the Caribbean
Nine deaths due to Irma were reported in St. Martin and St. Barts, and two were reported in St. Maarten
Hurricane Irma has left a path of death and destruction in the Caribbean region. Here are summaries of the storm’s impact on the islands:
One storm-related death in Anguilla, a British territory, has been reported. The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency says that 90 percent of government buildings, business structures and electricity infrastructure were damaged. The British government has been coordinating recovery.
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
A two-year-old died after the hurricane took the roof off the house of the child’s family. An estimated 90 percent of structures on the island of Barbuda were damaged or destroyed.
A 16-year-old surfer died while surfing waves churned by Hurricane Irma. The victim, a junior professional surfer, drowned along the island’s east coast.
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency reported four hurricane-related deaths in the British territory. The agency also said more security was needed to control an outbreak of looting. Irma caused most of the damage to the British Virgin Islands on Tortola, the largest and most populated island. Video of the Road Town, the capital of Tortola, showed piles of debris and the wreckage of buildings. Billionaire investor Richard Branson, who stayed at his home on private Necker Island during the storm, said other houses on the island have disappeared and the area is “completely and utterly devastated.”
No deaths of injuries were reported after Hurricane Irma pounded northeastern Cuba. Seawater surged three blocks inland in the town of Caibarien, where officials said they had evacuated 880 people. About 50,000 people in the town and nearby lost power.
No injuries were reported, but about a million people lost power in Puerto Rico. Almost half of the island’s hospitals were using generators to remain open.
MARTIN/ST. MAARTEN AND ST. BARTS
Nine deaths due to Irma were reported in St. Martin and St. Barts, a French territory, and two deaths were reported in Dutch St. Maarten, which is located on the same island as St. Martin. France’s public insurance agency estimated that the cost of property damage in St. Martin and St. Barts totaled more than $1.44 billion. The Dutch government reporte that 70 percent of houses in St. Martin were severely damaged or destroyed. Officials fear that the storm damage will ruin the upcoming tourism season.
TURKS AND CAICOS
Widespread flooding swept across the Turks and Caicos Islands. Homes were damaged or destroyed across the most populated island, Providenciales, and on the northwestern side of the island, a community known as Blue Hill is “gone,” Gold Ray Ewing, the minister of infrastructure, said.
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
Four storm-related deaths were reported in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Officials in St. Thomas expect to find more dead bodies as recovery work proceeds. The hurricane destroyed the hospital in St. Thomas, and the island’s harbor was wrecked, as were dozens of businesses and hundreds of homes. [Associated Press] — Mike Seemuth