Richard Branson reveals the destruction to his Necker Island home in wake of Hurricane Irma
Hurricane Irma has already caused plenty of devastation, laying waste to certain parts of the Carribean and taking the lives of at least 28 people. But the Category Five storm, which is so strong it registered on earthquake devices, isn't over yet. Turning to the mainland United States, Irma brought wind speeds of up to 130 mph to Florida, destroying homes and rendering areas in Miami without electricity.
As time goes on, we are seeing further scenes of destruction from across the globe, and entrepreneur Richard Branson has also provided a look at the damage his property has received. His paradise island home, located on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, has been torn apart.
Branson and his team apparently rode out the storm in a wine cellar, escaping any injury from the storm. They were aware of the storm as it approached, but apparently remained "calm & upbeat" in the face of its fury. Luckily it seems that their makeshift bunker worked wonders, and they were unharmed by the tropical storm.
The billionaire has since been to Puerto Rico, which is located not far from Necker Island, where he hopes to make a difference during this time. He has stated that he has joined efforts to rebuild on these islands and other effected areas.
On his blog, Branson explained the situation in more detail, as well as his plans for the future:
"As you can see from the photos, much of the buildings and vegetation on Necker has been destroyed or badly damaged.
We felt the full force of the strongest hurricane ever in the Atlantic Ocean. But we are very fortunate to have a strong cellar built into Necker’s Great House and were very lucky all of our teams who stayed on Island during the storm are safe and well.
I am writing from Puerto Rico, where I have travelled in order to further mobilise aid efforts and rebuilding plans for the British Virgin Islands and wider Caribbean. Communications remain mostly down in the BVI after Hurricane Irma."
His blog post continues:
"The UK government will have a massive role to play in the recovery of its territories affected by Irma – both through short-term aid and long-term infrastructure spending.
The region needs a 'Disaster Recovery Marshall Plan' for the BVI and other territories that will aid in recovery, sustainable reconstruction and long-term revitalisation of the local economy.
Our thoughts are with all the people and regions hit by Hurricane Irma, and all those in the US communities currently facing the storm."
Since these words, Hurricane Irma has reached the mainland, but has luckily been downgraded to a Category Two storm. Despite this, the winds are still very powerful, and it is believed that four people have been killed on the mainland so far. Our thoughts are with those who were affected by the storm, and those who are still in its path.