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Hurricane Irma's path of destruction explained

Deadly Hurricane Irma has already caused major damage – and many countries in its path are yet to feel its effects.

The most powerful Atlantic storm ever recorded is still due to hit the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas, and is expected in Florida by Sunday.

At least nine people have been killed as the Irma ripped through the Caribbean.

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Here is more about its path of destruction so far:

:: Antigua and Barbuda

These islands were the first to be hit by Irma.

The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, said almost every building on Barbuda had been damaged, rendering it “barely habitable”.


Aerials show the extent of the destruction on Barbuda

Video:
Destruction on Barbuda seen from the air

Around 60% of the island’s roughly 1,400 residents have been left homeless.

Mr Browne added that roads and telecommunications systems had been wrecked. Recovery is expected to take months, if not years.

Damage sustained on Antigua appears to be relatively minor.

:: St Martin, Anguilla and St Barts

St Martin and Anguilla experienced heavy rain and winds of up to 185mph.

Major resorts on Anguilla survived the storm, its tourist board said, although many private homes had been damaged.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he had spoken to the Chief Minister of Anguilla and his thoughts were with “all those affected”.

“We have staff and a British naval ship ready to help those in need,” he added.

“Brits should follow our travel advice which will be regularly updated.”

Damage in Saint Martin
Image:
Damage caused by Irma in St Martin

French President Emmanuel Macron said he expected victims and heavy damage to be discovered on St Martin and St Barts.

In St Barts, damage has been described as “apocalyptic” following winds of 151mph.

In the Dutch area of St Martin – St Maarten – British tourist Alex Woolfall hid in a concrete stairwell as the storm hit.

“My god this noise! It’s like standing behind a jet engine! Constant booms & bangs. At least concrete stairwell not moving,” he tweeted.

:: British Virgin Islands

The storm passed over the most northern of the Virgin Islands on Wednesday afternoon.

Sir Richard Branson, whose Necker island is within the group, said he and friends had “experienced a night of howling wind and rain as Hurricane Irma edges ever closer”.

Boats lie crammed against the shore in Paraquita Bay as the eye of Hurricane Irma passed Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Image:
Boats lie crammed against the shore in Paraquita Bay, British Virgin Islands

“The atmosphere is eerie but beautiful,” he added in a blog entry.

He and his guests were using a concrete wine cellar as shelter. “I suspect there will be little wine left in the cellar when we all emerge,” he said.

:: Puerto Rico

Irma is moving over Puerto Rico on Thursday morning.

Winds of 100mph have left at least 900,000 people without power and nearly 50,000 without water.

A flooded street in Fajardo, Puerto Rico
Image:
A flooded street in Fajardo, Puerto Rico

An economic crisis has led to major funding and staffing cuts at the public power company.

That being the case, the power supply may not be restored for up to six months.


preview image

Video:
International Space Station tracks Irma

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