Antigua “Open For Business” After Irma; Barbuda “Destroyed”


By the Caribbean Journal staff

While the island of Barbuda was right in the eye of Hurricane Irma, leading to at least three deaths and massive destruction, its neighboring island of Antigua was largely spared, officials said.

There was no loss of life in Antigua due to the storm, and most residential, business and hotel properties on the island remain largely unscathed, officials said in a statement.

Main roads have already been cleared of debris from fallen trees.

The people of Antigua should all be very proud of the part that each of them played in our impressive story of readiness and resilience,” Prime Minister Gaston Browne said.

The island’s VC Bird International Airport was set to open at 2 PM on Wednesday to accommodate arriving and departing passengers.

“The essential point is that our main infrastructure has stood-up and our country can resume normal life within hours,” said Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Minister Asot Michael. “All our visitors remained safe during Hurricane Irma. The island’s hotels suffered only minimal damage and have already commenced clean-up operations”.

Michael said he would be traveling to Barbuda Wednesday to assess damage for an island Prime Minister Gaston Browne said had been “totally destroyed” after surveying it on a visit on Wednesday.

It will mean a significant rebuilding operation for Barbuda, which saw nearly 90 percent of its structures destroyed, leaving the island without power.