Government leaders declare a state of emergency in Barbuda where the island’s nearly 1600 residents continue to pick up the pieces.
It’s a similar scene in other Leeward islands, but there may not be much time to ponder the destruction with Category 3 Hurricane Jose forecast to pass over the area this weekend.
Antigua and Barbuda are now under a hurricane watch and Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saba and St. Eustatius are under tropical storm watch.
“I do not think you can be prepared to be destroyed.”
Antigua/Barbuda Broadcasting Services’ Kieron Murdoch said images of destruction coming out of Barbuda are just the tip of iceberg.
“The Codrington Lagoon, they say, has flooded. It has burst whatever barriers it had. There is just a whole lot more detail to devastation that they say pictures do not tell,” Mr Murdoch said.
Mr Murdoch said all communication with Barbuda is down, but emergency teams are on the ground helping with evacuation and delivering relief.
“As many supplies as possible is are going over to Barbuda they are going by helicopter, they are going by boat,” he added.
Over in the US Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp said teams there are also working feverishly to help Irma affected residents.
“This morning National Guard troops moved from St. Croix to St Thomas. Debris removal, so we can clear the roads and thoroughfares so we can get our resources and recovery items,” Governor Mapp said.
And while the Northern Leewards are reeling from the Category 5 storm Hurricane Jose is hot on Irma’s heels. Residents there know their cleanup efforts may start again this weekend.
The UK today (7 September) pledging more than US $41 million worth of aid for disaster relief.
Here at home, the Governor’s Office said it’s in direct contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s crisis response unit in London.
As for offering relief to impacted neighbours Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin said Cayman is committed to supporting neighbors in the wake of the storm.