After Irma, the Island of Barbuda Remains Deserted


While Antigua was mostly spared from the hurricane, more than 90 per cent of Barbuda was destroyed, forcing its 1,800 residents to flee for shelters on Antigua, about 45 kilometres away.

The Category 5 hurricane battered the Caribbean with winds of up to 185mph leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

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Irma was 378 miles wide when it hit Barbuda, a small island of just 62 square miles - the damage is estimated to cost around $200m (£15m). The change may be due to foliage being destroyed by winds, or killed by a coating of sea salt spray. Only pets were left on Barbuda. By September 7, electricity supply had been restored to most part of the island, NASA said further.

A Canadian plane, full of supplies and volunteers, has landed in the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, where a Canadian charity is helping the country rebuild after Hurricane Irma. Sanders said that pre-hurricane preparation, including importing supplies from the USA, helped provide for the evacuees.

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This combination of satellite images provided by DigitalGlobe shows Codrington in Antigua and Barbuda on April 24, 2014, and Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, after Hurricane Irma. However, the conditions are not ideal. "People have been forced into cramped living, sharing toilets". A nursing home has also been converted to house displaced Barbudans. "The island and the people on the island had absolutely no chance".

Right now, initial estimates suggest that Barbuda will need about $200 million to recover. "There was, however, significant impact to our systems and services in Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks & Caicos Islands", said John Reid, CEO, Cable & Wireless.

"What we have to insure now is that, when we rebuild, all of the buildings on the island can withstand hurricane forces of the kind and magnitude that we've seen, because we believe climate change is here to stay".

That's an astronomical sum for a country with a gross domestic product of about $1 billion. It's a reality, despite all of the nay-sayers.

World renowned for its pink sand beaches many miles long, Barbuda was listed in 2016 by Conde Nast Traveller as one of the top ten destinations to watch.