Barbuda a desolate island after Hurricane Irma


Days after Hurricane Irma destroyed an entire island of Barbuda, NASA released a series of satellite images showing the Caribbean before and after the storm.

"The damage is complete", Ronald Sanders, Antigua and Barbuda's ambassador to the United States, told PRI's the Takeaway.

The Barbudan people have been living on the island of #Barbuda for 300 years, but after the 378-mile-wide #Hurricane Irma tore through the 62-square-mile island, "the damage is complete", according to Ronald Sanders, the US ambassador to the nation of Antigua and Barbuda.

Then-category 5 Hurricane Irma made its first landfall as it slammed the island on September 6.

Damage in the village of Codrington on the island of Barbuda, which was devastated by Hurricane Irma.

"This was a huge monster", he says. "It was 378 miles (608 km) wide when it hit Barbuda". Something quite understandable after Irma went through Barbuda with a wind speed of about 260 km/h. The storm was moving forward at only 24 km/h during the time it moved over Barbuda.

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.

In the aftermath of Irma many travel firms, airlines and shipping companies are assisting the rebuilding of Barbuda in kind.

An animal welfare agency has stepped in to take on the task of caring for the animals left behind.

The Go Fund Me campaign Tyrell started raised more than $3,000 in the first few days; enough to buy supplies and convinced the government to allow access to the island.

The lesser-known twin island of Antigua, Barbuda lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

It will take around $US200 million ($250 million) for Barbuda to recover - and the island won't be able to rebuild without outside help, he added.

Sanders was recalling the tragic moment Hurricane Irma struck the island of Barbuda.

That's an astronomical sum for a country with a gross domestic product of about $1 billion.

"But", the ambassador said, "there is a natural desire by the Barbudan community to return to the island; something that is hard until basic services can be restored". 95% of all island buildings have suffered after the hurricane, with majority completely unusable. It's a reality, despite all of the nay-sayers.

Antigua families have also opened their homes to as many people as they can. "We, unfortunately, who contribute less than naught point naught percent of pollution of the world's atmosphere, are the world's greatest victims".