Irma Continues Westward After Battering Barbuda, St Martin


By the Caribbean Journal staff

Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Caribbean Wednesday, causing major destruction on several islands, including tiny Barbuda, which was almost totally destroyed.

As of Thursday morning, Irma was 110 miles north of Punta Cana and about 165 miles southeast of Grand Turk, with continued maximum sustained winds of 180 miles per hour moving west-northwestward.

As Irma moved north-northwest, a hurricane warning remained in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra, along with the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the border with Haiti, Haiti from its northern border with the DR to Le Mole St Nicholas, the Southeastern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands and the Central Bahamas and northwestern Bahamas.

A hurricane watch was in effect for Cuba from the Matanzas province eastward toward Guantanamo.

Irma was tracking to move just north of the coast of Hispaniola today, be near the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas by this evening, and then be near the Central Bahamas by Friday

Wednesday saw Irma pummel islands including Barbuda, St Barth, St Martin, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands before making hitting Puerto Rico, which left hundreds of thousands without electricity.

St Martin’s famous Grand Case boulevard was devastated by Irma.

The next few days will reveal more about the extent of the damage around the northern Caribbean, though Barbuda was hit the hardest by the eye of the storm.

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said Barbuda was in “national disaster,” with nearly 90 percent of both vehicles and homes on the island totally destroyed.

The island, which has a population of less than 1,700 people, reportedly saw one death from the storm.