Civilization on Barbuda has been 'extinguished' by Irma


As images released from the NASA Earth Observatory show, there is a striking difference in appearance pre- and post-Hurricane Irma on the islands in the Caribbean. And, now, for the first time in a few centuries, no one lives there.

The devastation was of such an extent that a concerned United States envoy to Antigua and Barbuda Ronald Sanders was forced to make a very big statement. Barbuda is not just a disaster, it's a humanitarian crisis.

Barbuda's sister island of Antigua appears better off, as it received much less impact.

At a service to give thanks for the deliverance of the peoples of Antigua and Barbuda at Southwark Cathedral on Thursday evening Baroness Scotland recalled the major devastation experienced by six Commonwealth countries so far this year: Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sierra Leone and now Barbuda. At least one death was reported. Practically every resident has been moved to Antigua. "We've tried to make living accommodations as good as humanly possible in these circumstances".

"The living conditions are not great", Sanders told PRI. Children will be attending school in Antigua for the time being. "It's government facilities in which they're being located".

He said: "I have to tell you that we definitely can not afford it from domestic resources.We are hoping that friendly governments and global partners will step up to the plate and assist us..."

Bob's said the island, that forms part of the country Antigua and Barbuda, doesn't have the resources to be able to rebuild itself. "For the first time in 300 years, there's not a single living person on the island of Barbuda - a civilization that has existed on that island for over 300 years has now been extinguished". Plus that is where all of their possessions are.

Civilization on Barbuda has been 'extinguished' by Irma
Civilization on Barbuda has been 'extinguished' by Irma

As the evacuation was underway, Browne told the BBC that a fast rebuild and recovery operation on the island was unlikely to happen.

TJ Hickson, 5, stands outdoors near partially destroyed buildings on the island of Anguilla, which was hard hit during Hurricane Irma.

Prominent voices, such as actor Robert de Niro, are urging help for the island. But the government stated it is keeping a police and military presence on Barbuda. This is going to take a while.

Joe English, a Unicef communications manager, has been helping with the relief effort in the Caribbean islands.

CNN quoted Sanders as saying Barbuda relies on tourism to survive, but in the meantime Antigua is still available for tourism.

"Fortunately, Antigua remains open for business so tourism and so on is still continuing but had we not had that and had we not had that income I have no idea how we would have survived", he said.

"We believe climate change is here to stay - it's a reality, despite all of the naysayers", he concluded.

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