Volunteers help those affected by Hurricane Irma in the US Virgin Islands

Lynette Rowe
September 13, 2017

Barts, Anguilla and Barbuda, as well as the USA and British Virgin Islands, killing dozens of people and leaving thousands more homeless. Lush green tropical vegetation can be ripped away by a storm's strong winds, leaving the satellite with a view of more bare ground.

The most obvious change is the widespread browning of the landscape.

So far, some 900 United Kingdom troops, 50 police and over 20 tonnes of aid have been sent to the Caribbean islands devastated by last week's hurricane - the most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade. Or, salt spray from the storm could have dried out leaves while they were still on trees, giving them a brown appearance.

It will cost about $100 million dollars to restore the damage on Barbuda caused by the storm, according to the nation's Prime Minister, Gaston Browne.

Irma battered the Caribbean islands as it moved toward Florida, where it made landfall as a category 4 storm on Sunday morning.

He added that 11 people have died in St. Barts and St. Martin, raising Irma's overall death toll to at least 38. "I never want to go through something like this again. @virginunite is coordinating aid to local BVI families & communities affected - please donate to help http://www.virgin.com/unite/bvi-community-support-appeal", he posted.

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"We've been here since six in the morning and we're still waiting, under a blazing sun", said one woman in a crowd of people hoping to leave as soon as possible.

"At the moment we are operating on regular funds we have for our ongoing programs".

"If the Overseas Territories can no longer access European Union funding the government will need to think seriously about how that loss is covered", the peer said. Dutch King Willem-Alexander visited his country's half of the island on Monday, telling Dutch national network NOS that the destruction was the worst he'd ever seen.

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to travel to the island Tuesday for the first time since Irma hit.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, meanwhile, plans to visit the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla in the "coming days".

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