Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island Destroyed In Hurricane Irma
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Sir Richard Branson 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 updated everyone, 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.
"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 #climatechange 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.
All loose items were brought inside to avoid more damage. Credit: Virgin Limited Edition
"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."
Hurricane Irma was packing wind gusts of up to 185mph (297km/h) before it slammed into the Caribbean and it has done horrific damage to several islands. Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has told ABS Television/Radio: "I'm of the view that as it stands now Barbuda is barely habitable.
"It is just a total devastation.
"Barbuda right now is literally a rubble. We have to raise a significant amount of resources now to rebuild Barbuda and to restore it to normalcy."
But there is another potential threat on its way, with Tropical Storm Jose being upgraded to a Category One hurricane. The weather system is still in the open Atlantic, however, it's tracking towards islands already hit hard by Irma.
There's another Category One hurricane in the Atlantic region, Katia, which is expected to make landfall in Veracruz, Mexico within the next 48 hours.