September 6, 2017 6:56 pm
Updated: September 6, 2017 7:05 pm

Hurricane Irma cuts communication to Barbuda, wreaks ‘absolute devastation’

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Hurricane Irma left one person dead on the Caribbean island of Barbuda while also cutting the small island off from communication for hours and destroying a good portion of its buildings.

The “absolute devastation” wrought by Hurricane Irma on the Caribbean island of Barbuda has caused estimated damages of some $150 million, Gaston Browne, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, said.

LIVE UPDATES: Tracking Hurricane Irma’s path

“This rebuilding initiative will take years,” Browne told local television after a visit to the island, where he confirmed at least one person had died due to the storm.

The prime minister said 90 per cent of the homes on the island were leveled.

Barbuda, which is home to about 1,700 people, was cut off from communication from its sister island of Antigua for at least 12 hours, CNN reported.

Karen-Mae Hill, Antigua and Barbuda’s High Commissioner said Antigua lost contact with its sister island at around 2 a.m. ET when the powerful storm hit the tiny island.

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“The last report we had from our sister island was the police station was destroyed, the roof came off completely. Houses all around Codrington, the main settlement on Barbuda, have lost their roofs,” she told Sky News.

READ MORE: Hurricane Irma: Canadians stranded in storm’s path struggle to come home

“We have a lot of broken trees across the island,” Keithley Meade, director of a meteorological office in Antigua and Barbuda told CNN.

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“A significant number of the houses have been totally destroyed,” said Lionel Hurst, chief of staff to Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne told Fox News.

READ MORE: Hurricane Irma: Category 5 storm is ‘like nothing we’ve ever seen’

Antigua’s 80,000 people makes up a majority of the two-island nation’s population.

Barbuda is only 160 km in total, just a quarter of the size of Hurricane Irma.

At least two other people have been killed as a result of the storm, CNN reports.

— With file from Reuters


© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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