Hurricane Irma: NASA Photos Show Damage Has Caused Islands To Change Colours
The destruction Hurricane Irma caused on Caribbean islands has been properly shown in pictures published by NASA.
The agency's Earth Observatory took pictures of various islands, such as Barbuda, Anguilla, Cuba and the Virgin Islands following the worst of the storm.
From the images, it's easy to see how devastating the effects were, as the colours of the islands have changed drastically.
Greenery has been wiped out on these Carribean islands. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
Irma reportedly damaged 90 percent of some islands, ruining buildings and wiping out plants.
The before and after shots from the Landsat 8 satellite make the subsequent lack of greenery easy to see.
NASA science writer Kathryn Hansen believes that the eye of the storm must have literally ripped plants and trees out of the ground with its 185mph winds, as well as salt from the sea drying out leaves, turning them brown.
Barbuda's prime minister claims that the island is barely habitable.
"Wild isolation that made St. Barts, St. Martin, Anguilla and the Virgin Islands vacation paradises has turned them into cut-off, chaotic nightmares in the wake of Hurricane Irma," a report by the Associated Press says, according to Travel Insider.
Antigua and Barbuda. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
Sir Richard Branson's Necker Island also suffered in the hurricane.
The businessman decided to stay put on Necker Island as Hurricane Irma thundered through the Caribbean rather than evacuate to a safer area.
As one of the largest hurricanes in the Atlantic region's history got closer to Sir Richard's home, he posted a photo of himself playing a dice game and saying he would 'retreat into a concrete wine cellar under the house' once it hits.
But his son Sam has posted an update, saying that Hurricane Irma has decimated buildings on the island.
Sam wrote: "Glad to say that all humans on Necker are OK although a lot of buildings destroyed. Very concerned for our friends and everyone on the neighbouring islands and people in its path.
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
"Please don't take this hurricane lightly if it is heading your way. If your building is not very solid, do find somewhere safe! Homes can be rebuilt but lives can't. Nature warning us again of the impact of climate change. We must all do more to combat this."
Sir Richard explained on his blog that all precautions had been taken in the lead-up to the hurricane. He said: "On Necker Island we have constructed really strong buildings (with hurricane blinds) that should be able to handle extreme weather pretty well, though with a Category Five hurricane almost nothing can withstand it.
"Our main concern is with the local people of the BVI. For anyone who could be affected by the hurricane, please make sure you are as prepared as possible. In the past, many British Virgin Islanders have shrugged off hurricanes, stayed at home and not gone to shelters.
"This time the BVI Government and the BVI Tourist board have been very active and [are] providing advice to the local population. With the likelihood of a Category Five hurricane, it is really important people go to hurricane shelters if possible."