Hurricane Irma leaves trail of destruction across the Caribbean

Dozens of people were killed as the storm raged across the Caribbean towards the US

Hurricane Irma leaves trail of destruction across the Caribbean

A street is completely flooded in Havana, Cuba, 10-09-2017. Image: Bernd Kubisch/dpa

A trail of destruction has been left across the Caribbean in the wake of deadly Hurricane Irma.

Dozens of people have been killed, thousands left homeless and billions of Euro worth of damage caused after the category five storm raged from Antigua to Cuba before hitting the US.

With reports of stranded families, flooded homes and civil unrest following the storm, concerns are growing as survivors now face running out of supplies.


On the islands of St Martin and St Barts, where smashed cars and boats line the streets, at least 10 people have lost their lives.

Ten people in Cuba were also killed by Irma, the country's government has confirmed.

Up to 90% of the island of Barbuda has been destroyed, with the hurricane killing a small child and causing hundreds of thousands of Euro worth of damage, leaving the island "barely habitable."

Four people have died in St Martin, and reports of looting have led security forces to act with a "firm hand," increasing the number of soldiers on the island to 550. It has also been left with no gas or drinking water.

Recovery efforts

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) suffered extensive damage, with actor Sam Branson warning of "chaos" and urging residents to remain strong in the face of the civil unrest and looting which has broken out.

Both Branson and his father – Virgin boss Richard Branson – are now helping mobilise recovery efforts on the ground for the thousands of residents affected by the storm.

On Tortola, the main BVI, yachts piled on top of each other in the harbour and many homes have been destroyed.

One woman – 33-year-old Sarah Penney – was struck by a washing machine as her house was lashed by the storm.

Sheltering with her eight-month-old baby and 70-year-old mother, Ms Penney said: "It's like we've been bombed.”

"There isn't a single leaf on a tree,” she said. “There's no trees.”

“I think humans have fared a lot better than animals. It's going to take a generation to come back from this."

DJ Laura Elliott - who has lived on the island for two years - has been separated from her fiancé and two young children by the storm.

Ms Elliott - who was away from the island when the storm hit - says her family have been "engulfed by collapsed jungle."

With food and supplies for just five days, she is currently battling to try to get them flown to safety and is facing a race against time to get passports for her 10-month-old son and 23-month-old daughter.

Flood waters

Raging onwards from the Leeward Islands, Irma grazed Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti before hitting Cuba at full category five force.

Three people were killed by the storm in Puerto Rico, and hundreds of thousands were left without electricity - prompting Donald Trump to issue a disaster declaration.

Parts of Cuba's capital, Havana, have been left waist-deep in water after 11m (36ft) waves pummelled the north coast.

Buildings have been filled with dirty water, and it could be days before power is restored to all homes.