Civilization on Barbuda has been 'extinguished' by Irma

Richard Branson Reveals Devastation of Hurricane Hit Private Island Blames ‘Man-Made Climate Change

In light of Hurricane Irma, the head of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), Ronald Jackson, is suggesting that greater attention needs to be paid to this region's coastal assets, especially those related to the vital tourism sector.

"The damage is complete", says Ambassador Ronald Sanders, who has served as Antigua and Barbuda's ambassador to the US since 2015. An estimated 95% of Barbuda's structures are damaged, and the entire island of around 1,800 people has been evacuated. This relief flight follows a US$100,000 award donated by the United States government to the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross for assistance to those affected by Hurricane Irma.

All 1,800 residents living on Barbuda were forced to evacuate in the wake of Hurricane Irma, a 378-mile-wide storm that smashed almost every structure on the island, which is only 62 square miles.

Sanders described it as the "most ferocious, cruel and merciless storm" the island had ever experienced. This was a huge monster.

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Sanders is seeking help from around the world to aid in recovery efforts, with initial estimates at around $200 million, USA Today reported.

Just back from visiting storm-ravaged Anguilla, Barbuda and the British Virgin Islands, Jackson said this was one of the main lessons for the region arising out of the impact of the category five storm, which was packing maximum sustained winds in excess of 185 miles per hour when it bore down on the Leeward Islands last week. "We can not afford to take on this responsibility by ourselves".

He said: 'We are hopeful that the global community will come to our aid, not because we're begging for something we want, but because we're begging for something that is needed'.

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