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A look at the damage from Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean

Published:Thursday | September 7, 2017 | 12:00 AM
A home flattened by Hurricane Irma lies in a pile in Nagua, Dominican Republic.
A home is surrounded by debris brought in by Hurricane Irma in Nagua, Dominican Republic, yesterday.
Firefighters and other city workers cover the windows of Savannah’s City Hall yesterday in Savannah, Georgia.
A man surveys the wreckage on his property after the passing of Hurricane Irma in St John’s, Antigua, yesterday.




One death was reported in the British territory of Anguilla, which also suffered extensive damage to the airport, hospitals, and shelters. Ninety per cent of the roads are impassible, according to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. The United Kingdom said that Irma inflicted "severe and, in places, critical" damage to the territory.




A two-year-old child was killed in Barbuda as a family tried to escape a damaged home. About 60 per cent of the roughly 1,400 people on the small, flat island were left homeless by the storm that damaged nearly every building. Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said that the recovery would take months, if not years. Islanders were closely watching Hurricane JosÈ, which was threatening to strike the northeast Caribbean by the weekend.




The country was evacuating six islands in the southern Bahamas ahead of the storm. Islanders were being flown to the capital, Nassau, in what Prime Minister Hubert Minnis called the largest storm evacuation in the country's history. He said authorities would not be able to help those caught in the "potentially catastrophic" wind, flooding, and storm surge expected overnight Thursday.




Major damage to houses and commercial buildings was reported by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, who rode out the storm at his home on private Necker island, said entire houses disappeared and the area is "completely and utterly devastated".




Waves smashed a dozen homes into rubble in the fishing community of Nagua, but the buildings were believed to be unoccupied at the time. Several thousand locals and tourists were evacuated from coastal areas ahead of the storm. Authorities reported some flooding.




About a million people were without power in the United States territory after Irma passed just to the north, lashing the island with heavy wind and rain. Nearly 50,000 were also without water yesterday.




Irma ripped off roofs and knocked out electricity on the French island of St Barts. Video footage of the storm's aftermath showed cars and boats strewn about the island. French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said most of the schools were destroyed on St Barts and St Martin and "we'll need to rebuild both islands".




Prime Minister Timothy Harris said the country was spared "the extreme ravages" of the hurricane. Security forces carried out some emergency evacuations, and downed utility poles caused power outages in some areas. A damage assessment was to be carried out at the port before it reopened to boat traffic.




Five people were confirmed dead on the island of St Martin, four on the side of the island under French control and one on the Dutch side. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that about 50 were injured. Officials said the toll could rise because rescue teams had yet to get a complete look at the damage. Dutch Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk said instances of looting were reported and that the Netherlands was sending an extra 50 policemen and women from CuraÁao.




At least three people were killed in the US territory, where crews were struggling to reopen roads. Officials described the damage as catastrophic. Buildings including fire and police stations collapsed. The main hospital in St Thomas sustained heavy damage, and patients were being evacuated to Puerto Rico and elsewhere.




The British territory urged coastal residents to move to higher ground as the hurricane approached yesterday. Officials warned that the storm surge and large waves could raise water levels as much as 20 feet above the normal tide.




Evacuations were ordered in northern coastal areas, including the island known as Ól de la Tortue. Haiti, which shares an island with the Dominican Republic, was expected to be spared a direct hit, but heavy rains could trigger dangerous floods. The impoverished country does not have the manpower to enforce evacuation orders, and it was unknown how many people left the most vulnerable areas.