Thursday, November 23, 2017
Text Size

After Death & Destruction-Hurricane Irma now Tropical Storm



IR-1Basseterre, Monday, 11th September, 2017 ( – After a week-long carnage that devastated the lives of millions across the Caribbean and the United States, Irma has now finally lost its power of massive destruction, and with failing winds, as of Monday, (11th September), downgraded to a Tropical Storm.

Though the storm has gone away from the region, many families across the Caribbean, but especially in Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Barbuda, are only now able to undertake a careful assessment of their losses, both in terms of life and property.

As at Monday morning, reports were that the Caribbean registered 37 deaths while Florida, reported five (5). Some experts believe that these numbers will rise as crews gain better access to affected areas.

The people of St. Barts and St. Maarten/St. Martin are also trying to come to grips with their new existence-some without homes and personal belongings-that Irma swept away in its up to 185mph winds, at its height of devastation early Wednesday morning, (6th September).

The stories and personal tales of survivors are now being shared through social and mainstream media, but no matter the location, the accounts are the same…tragedy.

Irma, as Category 5 hurricane for almost a week, is the worse and most powerful storm ever, in the history of mankind, anywhere on planet earth.

It caused an entire population (1,400) from the island of Barbuda, (Antigua’s sister island), to evacuate and abandon their homes and businesses. That country’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, reported that over 95% of properties were either totally destroyed or severely damaged.

Looting in Florida and some affected islands in the Caribbean raised its ugly head as we saw the worse of some people, at a time of great disaster when all were required to pull together.  

Some business owners in St. Maarten fled to nearby St. Kitts, for fear of their lives after their establishments and homes were said to be taken over by gangs out to exploit the vulnerable circumstances of many.

Families are still seeking information on loved ones who were cut-off due to the loss of telecommunications, destruction to vehicles and road damage in many territories.

While St. Kitts and Nevis escaped the ravishes, there were some homes that had their roofs removed, while other communities were without water and power, due to electrical poles that fell, mostly through falling trees.

The people of St. Kitts & Nevis appeared to have been better prepared this time around, responding to the regular updates from the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and the urgings of both federal and local government officials.

Before even fully assessing its own damage, and though soliciting and receiving help from its Caribbean neighbours, the St. Kitts and Nevis Government itself was early in extending a helping hand to the people in the more affected islands.

Private organizations too, are already launching relief programs to aid their sister Caribbean nationals.

Some international governments too have been helping. The US is donating US$100,000 to Barbuda, while the UK has already pledged 32 Million Pounds and dispatched military personnel. The Dutch and French are also sending assistance to their affected territories (Saint Barth, St. Martin and St. Maarten).

The next few months will be difficult as Irma’s victims seek to rebuild their lives, communities and countries.

But what is worthy of noting, as tough as it may seem, the 2017 Hurricane Season is not yet over and more storms could find their way across the Atlantic.





blog comments powered by Disqus


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3