Hurricane Irma devastates Antilles

Hurricane Irma devastates Antilles
By Euronews
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She struck during the night, trailing devastation in her wake: Hurricane Irma, the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic, showed no mercy to the leeward islands as she barrelled through the Antilles.

Officials from the French-controlled half of St Martin say the island has been 95% destroyed. Buildings were torn apart, trees uprooted, fire stations flooded and electricity cut. Four government buildings, reputed to be the sturdiest on the island, were completely gutted, and a hospital roof blown off by winds of up to 300 kilometres per hour.

Our sister island of Barbuda has been devastated by Hurricane Irma and almost 100% of the persons there are now homeless.

— Antigua & Barbuda (@antiguabarbuda) September 7, 2017

Nearby, the small island of Barbuda is reported to be barely habitable, with St Barts and Anguilla also sustaining unprecedented levels of damage.

Aid operation scrambled

A rescue operation is being scrambled from across the globe. In France, soldiers and fireman had been preparing in advance for the emergency and were despatched yesterday to Guadeloupe. A British naval ship is in the area to provide assistance. Aid agencies are sending supplies and medical support. But with at least one airport put out of action by the storm, some victims may prove difficult to reach.

We’re on standby as #HurricaneIrma heads west – our team and partners in northern Haiti are ready to respond if needed.

— ActionAid UK (@ActionAidUK) September 7, 2017

Irma’s path continues

After crashing through the leewards, Irma rampaged northwestwards to Puerto Rico, where 3 million inhabitants were left without power. She’s headed for the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and the southern Bahamas, and is expected to hit Florida on Sunday afternoon, although she has been downgraded from a category 5 to a category 4 hurricane.

Hurricane Irma is raging but we have great teams of talented and brave people already in place and ready to help. Be careful, be safe! #FEMA

— Donald J. Trump‏ (@DonaldTrumpCC) September 7, 2017

St Martin

On St Martin residents have been told they can emerge from their shelters, but those who ventured out faced a scene of complete confusion.

In the streets, debris, and in the port, smashed yaughts are all that remains of the luxury tourist trade underpinning the economies of these islands.

Costs of recovery rise as Hurricane Irma leaves St. Martin crippled in debris and property damage. Tourism industry compromised

— Ark Republic (@ArkRepublic) September 7, 2017

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