Desperate Caribbean survivors of Hurricane Irma

The storm carved out a path of devastation, leaving a trail of extensive damage in modest islands like St. Martin/St. Maarten, the twin-island state of Antigua in addition to Barbuda, the British territories of Anguilla in addition to the Turks in addition to Caicos Islands, the British Virgin Islands, in addition to the US Virgin Islands.

Many islands are still assessing the damage, as they begin to pick up the pieces.

Here’s a look at just a few stories through the hardest hit areas, where residents are still reeling.

Do you live from the Caribbean in addition to have been affected by Irma? We might like to hear through you. WhatsApp or text us on +1-347-322-0415.

Antigua in addition to Barbuda

Elvis Burton stands outside his boarded-up home in Barbuda.

Elvis Burton, 57, was born in Barbuda yet lived most of his life from the Bronx, completely new York. In 2005 he returned home. Irma was his first major storm.

Burton in addition to most of the island’s 1,800 residents were evacuated on Friday to Antigua. Burton has not been able to return home.

Looking at pictures through the island, he said, “I think This specific’s going to take a long time for Barbuda to get back on its foot. Everything can be completely destroyed.”

“Most of the people left with just the clothes on their backs.”

“I want to get back because I want to start to rebuild. This specific’s sinking in, you’re feeling the impact of the hurricane. After a day or two you realize you have lost everything.”

Burton can be staying using a friend in Antigua, while many others are in shelters on the island.

“The people of Antigua have done so much to make us feel comfortable, yet I just want to get home. This specific can be human nature.”

St. Martin/St. Maarten

A woman carries a container of water on a street in Marigot, on the island of St. Martin, September 10.
“We survived, we survived,” Stacy-Ann Taylor said in a Facebook Live video on Wednesday, after Hurricane Irma hit the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Maarten, where the storm left at least four people dead in addition to caused widespread devastation.

The storm ravaged the island on Wednesday, in addition to Taylor, who lives with her husband in addition to two children from the capital, Philipsburg, told CNN of which people there were still in dire need of security in addition to supplies.

“We are in great need of supplies, food in addition to water, in addition to more security,” Taylor told CNN in a Facebook message, adding of which she was fearful of looters in addition to had heard stories of people being held at gunpoint in their homes.

“This specific can be so freaking scary. Right currently, I wish my children could leave so they might not have to experience — in addition to also my husband in addition to I can focus on each various other. This specific’s not easy here,” she said, adding of which the Dutch marines in addition to police force were doing their best to cope with the situation.


Homes destroyed in Anguilla on September 6, 2017.

Lloyd Gumbs was born in Anguilla, where he has lived for most of his life.

“We were prepared for the hurricane,” he said, “yet This specific wasn’t a normal hurricane.”

The storm left at least one person dead on the island.

Gumbs says he was on Anguilla, a British territory, in 1995 when Hurricane Luis hit. “Luis was a Cat 4 storm, in addition to lasted for something like 36 hours, Irma last a shorter time yet This specific caused more damage.”

Gumbs, who has 6-year-old twins in addition to a 3-year-old, can be without electricity in addition to running water. He says he stocked up on drums of water in advance of the storm yet This specific’s beginning to run low.

“This specific’s a challenge,” he said, “we are using candles at night.”

Cellphone networks on the island have remained online in addition to Gumbs has been documenting the destruction Irma left behind on his Facebook page.

He charges his phone every day at a nearby hotel of which incorporates a generator.

“I might estimate of which 70% of the electricity poles on the island are down,” he said.

Cellphone network Flow has set up charging stations on the island, he said.

“We need water, we need toiletries, we need nonperishable foodstuff, we need candles,” he said.

US Virgin Islands

Bluebeards Castle, a resort in St. Thomas, was hit hard by Irma. St. Thomas resident David Velez sent This specific photo to CNN on September 7.

Irma killed four people from the US Virgin Islands in addition to caused widespread damage, hitting three of the largest islands; St. Croix, St. John in addition to St. Thomas, the hardest.

Jennifer Stephens Cooper, a nurse at Schneider Regional Medical Center, moved to St. Thomas with her husband in addition to their two children This specific summer through Washington, D.C. Her home in addition to the hospital where she works were both destroyed from the storm.

“We’re staying in our shell of the house at the moment,” Cooper said over the phone. “The first floor can be a concrete apartment, which can be where we were staying during the storm. Everything above of which, which was wooden, blew apart. If we hadn’t been downstairs we wouldn’t be here anymore.”

“My husband can be from the Army. As he says, This specific looks like a war zone. There’s not one tree left standing,” she added.

Cooper, who lives in Peterborg, on St. Thomas, said many of the homes in their neighborhood were destroyed from the storm. Cooper has been walking a mile down the road twice a day to get cell service in addition to call her family in North Carolina, their only source of news.

“We’re hearing rumors of which people are posing as police officers in addition to robbing people. We spoke with another nurse who was robbed at machete-point a few days ago,” Cooper said. “We’re terrified. This specific’s a desperate situation. When people run out of water in addition to food, tempers flare. This specific’s just going to get worse.”

“I can’t even go out to help various other people if I don’t feel safe myself.”

“I’ve got children, I need to get them out of here. We are supposed to have a flight out on Saturday, yet right currently This specific’s not functional.”

British Virgin Islands

Damage to the British Virgin Islands, seen through the air.

“My house can be completely gone,” Kennedy Banda, through Tortola, said by phone. Banda made the last-minute decision to shelter at a hotel in Tortola with his wife, their four children, in addition to his elderly mother-in-law. They barricaded themselves in their room, using mattresses in addition to chairs to block the glass doors.

“I went back to the house in addition to the fridge was from the water. Our beds, the clothes, everything was blown out,” said Banda, who shared a video on Facebook of the scene.

He said of which currently, all 5 days after the storm hit the British Virgin Islands, killing four people, everyone can be on edge. On Sunday, he went to a gas station to fill up on diesel in addition to a man on a scooter cut the line of cars, pulling out a gun. His children were from the auto with him at the time.

“This specific’s scary. Give us a week, a couple more days through currently, people are going to start looting various other people’s houses. I have a 1-year-old, 2-year-old, 5-year-old, 8-year-old, in addition to a mother-in-law who can be pretty old. I’m worried for their safety.”

Banda said he’s hoping to get his children, who have British passports, evacuated to the United Kingdom to stay with family.

“We can’t stay from the hotel forever. Where are we going to go next? When the looting starts getting heavier, where am I going to go? This specific’s scary for me to think of my kids. Where am I going to put them? can be the government going to help me? I just want to get my kids out.”

“Nothing’s ever happened like This specific here before, my head can be spinning,” Banda said.

Puerto Rico

A woman pulls a suitcase through debris in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, on September 7.

Maria Rivas, who has lived in Puerto Rico for 18 years, camped out in her Toa Baja home with her husband, their two children, her mother in addition to mother-in-law, during the hurricane.

“I wanted to make sure everyone was under one roof. My kids’ anxiety level was through the roof, so This specific was important for us to maintain calm. We played a lot of games, colored,” Rivas said.

The island avoided a direct hit, yet high winds in addition to torrential rains knocked out power.

“The way the wind sounded was terrible. I’ve never heard wind like of which,” she said. “We’re relieved, in addition to happy we’re all well, in addition to of which the storm didn’t cause more damage.”

“We got very lucky after seeing what happened in Culebra in addition to Loiza,” two towns hit hardest in Puerto Rico.

Rivas said the community has come together from the storm’s aftermath. A hotel in San Juan has been collecting donations, which will be distributed to families in Loiza who lost their homes.

Turks in addition to Caicos

Hurricane Irma descends on Providenciales, from the Turks in addition to Caicos Islands, on September 7.

Ken Adams, the 61-year-old owner of Building Materials Do This specific Center in Providenciales, reopened his hardware store on Sunday, three days after the storm hit Turks in addition to Caicos.

“On Sunday we opened using a prayer, giving God thanks for life,” Adams said, adding of which his store can be currently sold out of reconstruction materials, like plywood. “We are trying our best because we’re in a position to help.”

He said he hopes to get completely new supplies in by the weekend, yet after storms in Texas, in addition to currently in Florida, This specific could take a while.

Hurricane Irma barreled through the British overseas territory, home to about 52,000 people, overnight Thursday into Friday.

“At the moment, we have a lot of houses with roof damage. We have major infrastructure damage. There’s no electricity, a lot of the cell towers are down. Gas stations have very little gasoline,” Adams said.

Adams, who was born in addition to raised in Turks in addition to Caicos, said he’s never seen a storm like Irma.

“We’ve seen many hurricanes before, yet This specific was more than anything we’ve ever experienced. We saw something like 0 mph wind gusts. This specific was a scary experience,” Adams said. “yet This specific could have been worse. This specific’s not nearly as bad as some of the various other islands.”


People make their way through debris from the Cojimar neighborhood of Havana on September 10.

Irma made landfall in Cuba overnight on Friday as a Category 5 storm, blasting into seaside towns in addition to causing flooding in low-lying areas of the capital. Winds of 125 mph whipped roofs clean off buildings, ripped trees through the ground in addition to forced evacuations along the coast. Authorities said 10 people died as a result of Irma.

Maykel Galindo runs a bed in addition to breakfast in Havana, where seven people died as a result of building collapses.

Galindo said most of his guests for the coming weeks have canceled their visits due to the storm.

“Don’t cancel,” he said. “Our emerging private sector genuinely needs the support to grow.”

Telecommunications on the island have been poor due to the storm, he said, in addition to when CNN attempted to call him the line dropped more than once.

On the various other end of the island, US military staff in addition to their families also avoided the worst of the storm. Danielle Nicole Debano, who lives at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, posted video on Friday evening of thunder in addition to lightning as Irma neared. “Everyone here at GTMO can be safe in addition to sound, in addition to Irma has been kind to us compared to others in her path,” she said by text.

Correction: This specific story has been corrected to reflect of which Barbuda can be part of Antigua in addition to Barbuda, which can be an independent state.

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