100 inmates escape from jail after hurricane Irma destroys prison
It is being reported that over 100 inmates have escaped from a prison on the British Virgin Islands after parts of it were destroyed by Hurricane Irma this weekend. Irma has battered the islands over the past few days as the storm makes its way to mainland America, and according to Sky, between 100-120 prisoners are believed to have escaped their cells after the storm battered the island, destroying part of the prison.
The exact number of prisoners is yet to be confirmed, but the incident further adds to the pressure that the islands are currently under after being ravaged by the storm earlier this week. The area has been hard-hit by Irma with their being widespread destruction, a shortage of water and multiple residents left without homes in the wake of the storm, as well as multiple fatalities.
Speaking to the Guardian about the scenes that Irma has left behind, Natalie Drury, a resident of the British Virgin Islands, said: "I can't believe my eyes. I can't even begin to describe the utter devastation around. It feels like nothing is left.
"It's worse than anyone could have imagined. The country is going to need some serious help. I have no idea how many people have died. We were told yesterday it's gone up to 10, but obviously, that's all rumours. Nobody knows yet."
In light of the mass destruction, the UK has now began sending over troops to help out with the recovery process, with ships carrying supplies such as clean water as well as medical aids currently on their way. Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, has said that around 500 troops have been sent to the Caribbean and that the relief operation is now "well underway".
The Ministry of Defence issued a statement through a spokesperson, saying:
"By the end of the evening there will be well over 100 marines and troops on the island, their priority will be establishing security and law and order before providing humanitarian assistance before the arrival of Hurricane Jose."
It's believe that at least 27 people have died as a result of the powerful storm, although this number is expected to rise within the coming days. Several islands in the Caribbean have been ravaged by the storm over the past few days, with some of the smaller islands now being described as uninhabitable. Irma has now moved on from the Caribbean and is now on a collision course with Florida, where government officials have called for a mass evacuation as they gear up for the worst storm that the state has ever experienced.
It's being reported that 6.3millions Floridians have been told to leave their homes, with those refusing to do so being told that they have little chance of survival if they don't. The hurricane is expected to hit on Sunday evening and despite the fact it was lowered to a category three storm yesterday, the National Hurricane Centre has now changed that back to a five.
Irma is the latest storm to hit the US in recent weeks, with hurricane Harvey destroying parts of Texas last week. Unfortunately for those in the British Virgin Islands, it looks like their suffering looks like it's going to continue as hurricane Jose, a slightly smaller storm, looks set to hit the islands in the next few days.