9 people killed in Caribbean Islands as Hurricane Irma rages on towards Florida

Leo Veizaga, Staff Writer

Northeast Caribbean Islands aren’t having the best of days, as reports indicate that 9 people have lost their lives due to Hurricane Irma, and several islands, including Barbuda, St. Martin and the British Virgin Islands being devastated by the storm. Puerto Rico managed to dodge a direct hit by Irma, though the country was lashed with heavy rain and powerful gusts of wind, leaving hundreds of thousands without electricity, say officials. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda has spoken about the damage done by the hurricane, saying that Barbuda seems barely inhabitable with nearly all of its buildings damaged. However, the story only gets worse from here.


Data collected by meteorologists suggests that the eye of one of if not THE strongest storms recorded in the Atlantic is adding Florida to its hit-list over the weekend. Irma began moving away from the Dominican Republican’s northern coast, about 95 miles north of Punta Cana. The National Hurricane Center says that the storm’s center will pass north of Hispaniola’s coast later today, near the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas by evening. Going back to the Caribbean Islands, officials have confirmed that six people died on the French side of St. Martin Island, along with two others on St. Barthélemy, say French officials, while an infant in Barbuda was also confirmed to have been killed in the storm.


Prime Minister Gaston Browne says 95% of Barbuda’s buildings have been majorly damaged by the hurricane, with Browne describing the damage as “unprecedented and absolutely devastating” and the cost of reconstruction estimated to be $100 million. Irma’s eye also managed to leave Barbuda’s telecommunications system and cell towers in pieces, leaving the island’s 1,800 residents with no form of communication. Right now, it seems too early to tell if Irma will hit the US mainland in any way. However computer models show that the storm could make a churn towards the east coast of Florida by late Sunday, with officials already preparing by shutting down schools and ordering evacuations. Right now, our only hope is that Florida manages to make it through Irma’s path of destruction.