As Hurricane Irma starts to make landfall on the US Mainland as a Category 4 storm, the damage left in her path is starting to emerge from many of the Caribbean Islands, much from the British Virgin Islands. The BVI's took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma and most structures were heavily damaged. One resident was quoted by the Chicago Tribune as saying the Hurricane, "sounded like a freight train and felt like an Earthquake."
The outer Caribbean islands, including the British Virgin Islands sighed a sigh of relief today as Hurricane Jose dropped off of Hurricane Irma's track as it turned northwards. Reports out of the BVIs and other outer Caribbean islands are quite dire. So far 24 people have been reported dead from Hurricane Irma, with at least four deaths reported in the BVIs. However, Facebook groups and message boards are still full of people looking for contact with loved ones and friends, with requests becoming more and more desperate.
Money is being raised to support the desperate needs on the ground and volunteers are already organizing to get boats and private planes to the island to evacuate those who are trapped or hurt and to bring needed supplies to the islands. Dive BVI, a charter dive business in the BVIs is raising money through Youcaring. Richard Branson, of Virgin, who weathered the storm on Necker Island is raising money for the British Red Cross to assist with relief efforts as well.
To get a sense of the destruction that has been inflicted upon the Caribbean and across the British Virgin Islands, see the photos and videos below:
USCG Survey of St. Thomas:
Drone Footage of the Damage to Nanny Cay:
Dive BVI Footage of Spanish Town Damage on Virgin Gorda:
Additional Footage of Damage on Virgin Gorda from Dive BVI:
Videos from Caribbean Buzz Helicopters:
(Bitter End, Virgin Gorda)
(White Bay, Jost Van Dyke)