Not a Single Living Person Left on Barbuda

Hurricane Irma strengthens, hits Cuba on its way to Florida

Sanders was recalling the tragic moment Hurricane Irma struck the island of Barbuda. "For the first time in 300 years, there's not a single living person on the island of Barbuda - a civilisation that has existed in that island for close to, over 300 years has now been extinguished". The Antigua and Barbuda government and, particularly the Prime Minister, gave strong leadership in gearing-up both islands for Irma.

Hurricane Irma, the Category 5 tropical cyclone that swallowed it September 6, was almost 650 kilometres across.

Hurricane Irma was 378 miles wide and near the peak of its intensity as a Category 5 hurricane when it made landfall and tore into the 62-square-mile island of Barbuda on the night of September 5 - 6. This was a huge monster. First, Antigua and Barbuda are separated by 30 miles. 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.

In the aftermath of Irma many travel firms, airlines and shipping companies are assisting the rebuilding of Barbuda in kind. The change may be due to foliage being destroyed by winds, or killed by a coating of sea salt spray.

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Mr. McCleary Fredrick, Director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands has also been sent to Anguilla for two weeks to provide expertise along with the Anguillan disaster management team. Now the island doesn't have any electricity or water, forcing the entire population of Barbuda to evacuate to Antigua.

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"The living conditions are not great", Sanders told PRI. "It's government facilities in which they're being located".

"Barbuda is just a small place".

According to Sanders, Irma was "the most ferocious, cruel and merciless storm" in the island's history.

As it is, the government of Antigua and Barbuda is facing a bill upwards of US$250 million to rebuild Barbuda, but it is a US$1 billion economy.

He said: 'We are hopeful that the worldwide 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'.

"We believe climate change is here to stay - it's a reality, despite all of the naysayers", he concluded. "We can not cope with our own resources alone".