El huracán Irma llegó al caribe y las autoridades reportan “destrucción total” en Barbuda, el impacto fue menor en Antigua

El huracán Irma “devastó” Antigua y Barbuda y se dirige a Estados Unidos

El huracán Irma tocó tierra este miércoles en varias islas del nordeste del Caribe, avanzando en una ruta hacia Puerto Rico, República Dominicana, Haití y Cuba, antes de dirigirse posiblemente a Florida el fin de semana.

El huracán causó hoy “al menos dos muertos” en San Bartolomé y Saint Martin, según informó la agencia AFP. Además, el primer ministro de Antigua y Barbuda, Gaston Browne, dijo que la tormenta “devastó” el 90% de las instalaciones de Barbuda, según informó The Guardian.

Irma es un huracán de categoría 5, la máxima de la escala Saffir-Simpson de intensidad de huracanes. Según su actual curso, se espera que el ojo de Irma pase justo al norte de Puerto Rico hoy, antes de tocar la costa norte de República Dominicana el jueves. Llegaría al estado de Florida, Estados Unidos, el fin de semana.

En San Juan de Puerto Rico, unas cuantas personas fueron a la playa para disfrutar del mar por última vez antes de buscar refugio. “Estoy preocupada. Esta va a ser una tormenta enorme, la mayor que hayamos visto”, dijo Angélica Flecha de 45 años.

La mayoría de los negocios estaban cerrados y las calles, casi vacías. Los estacionamientos de locales comerciales aún abiertos se encontraban atestados, ya que residentes acudían en masa a comprar suministros como hielo y agua embotellada.

El gobernador de Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, instó a los 3,4 millones de habitantes de la isla a buscar cobijo en uno de los 460 refugios de emergencia antes de la llegada del huracán.

Funcionarios de emergencia en Antigua y Barbuda reportaron tres heridos pero daños mínimos, y varios techos de viviendas arrancados por los vientos huracanados. Las comunicaciones entre las islas estaban suspendidas, dijeron autoridades.

Otros territorios del norte del Caribe, como Sotavento, Anguilla, Monserrat, San Cristobal y Nieves, además de las Islas Vírgenes y República Dominicana, estaban bajo advertencia de huracán.

El CNH dijo que Irma clasifica como uno de los cinco huracanes más poderosos del Atlántico en los últimos 80 años y como el ciclón más poderoso a la fecha en la región fuera del Mar Caribe y el Golfo de México.

El presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, declaró estado de emergencia para Florida, Puerto Rico y las Islas Vírgenes estadounidenses, lo que permitirá el desembolso de fondos de emergencia, dijo la Casa Blanca.

Las autoridades en los Cayos de Florida llamaron al inicio de una evacuación obligatoria de visitantes y se ordenó el cierre de las escuelas públicas del sur del estado.

A los residentes de áreas bajas en el condado densamente poblado de Miami-Dade se les ordenó trasladarse hacia áreas más seguras. El gobernador de Florida, Rick Scott, dijo que se realizarían más evacuaciones obligatorias en el estado a medida que Irma avance, ya que se espera que provoque marejadas de hasta 3 metros.

“Podemos reconstruir casas, pero no resucitar personas”, dijo Scott en el programa “Good Morning America” de la cadena ABC.

La Nación


One dead after Hurricane Irma destroyed Barbuda

It is being reported that there is total devastation in Barbuda and at least one person is dead.

Barbuda has been a communication blackout since the storm passed over the island this morning.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne is in Barbuda now. Caribbean Helicopter has been able to transport personnel over to the sister isle.

OBSERVER media spoke to the Chief Executive Officer of Caribbean Helicopters Neil Dickenson.

The CEO of Caribbean helicopters says the two helicopters that brought the prime minister and others to Barbuda are still on the ground there.

Antigua Observer

Official Statement by the Hon. Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda after hurricane Irma

My first words must be of thanks.

Thanks to Almighty God in all his forms for standing at our side at a time of great adversity.

There is no doubt that the Good Lord is on our side. We in Antigua have weathered the most powerful hurricane ever to storm its way through the Caribbean and we have done so with stunning results. The forecast was that Antigua would be devastated, our infrastructure demolished, people killed and our economy destroyed.

In the light of day, the picture is very different. In Antigua, no life has been lost – all the people survived. The guests in our hotels are all well. Even our animals were protected from this massive storm. Our airport will be open for flights into and out of Antigua by 2pm today. The people of Antigua should all be very proud of the part that each of them played in our impressive story of readiness and resilience.

I dare to say that no other country in the Caribbean would have been as well prepared as we were.

People heeded the warnings of my government to treat Hurricane Irma with absolute seriousness, and everyone did.

Properties were properly shuttered and protected, and neighbours and friends opened their homes to less fortunate persons to shelter through the long night. There was a chain of brotherhood and sisterhood that strengthened our collective resolve.

The work that the government initiated in advance of the storm paid remarkable dividends. The drains, gutters and reservoirs that were cleared in advance, ensured that the island experienced no flooding, hence eliminating the possibility of water-borne disease. While there has been property damage, it is not anywhere near the horrendous injury that was feared.

The essential point is that our main infrastructure has stood-up and our country can resume normal life within hours.

From early this morning, the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force has been on the streets clearing fallen trees and debris.

They were followed by contingents from the Solid Waste Unit.

Ours has been an exceptional story of resilience, honed by past experience and by the high level of our preparedness to confront the challenges of the world’s mightiest and most dangerous hurricane.

With regard to Barbuda, preliminary reports indicate damage to rooves and to some buildings, but I have had no report of any fatalities. Barbuda too benefited from a high level of readiness, responsive to the urgings of the government and from the preparations that were made in advance, including the shelter constructed for that purpose.

I was able to drive through many areas of Antigua since 5.30 this morning and I was heartened by what I saw. I intend to visit Barbuda at the earliest opportunity to see conditions on the island for myself.

Meantime, it is clear that Antigua and Barbuda has stood up to a mighty test. Our preparedness led to impressive resilience.
Our people are safe, our country is secure and our piece of paradise remains open to be shared by people from all over the world.

God bless you, and God continue to bless our beloved land – Antigua and Barbuda.

Antigua y Barbuda 


Tourism Minister Says Antigua Is Open For Business

Antigua has successfully coped with Hurricane Irma, defying the worst predictions of disaster.

There was no loss of life. The local population and all visitors to the island are safe.

Most residential, business and Hotel properties in Antigua remain largely unscathed and already the main roads have been cleared of the debris of fallen trees.

The V C Bird International Airport will be open by 2pm (Eastern Standard Time) today to accommodate arriving and departing aircraft and passengers.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne, in a statement earlier today, said that “the work that the government initiated in advance of the storm paid remarkable dividends. The drains, gutters and reservoirs that were cleared in advance, ensured that the island experienced no flooding, hence eliminating the possibility of water-borne disease. The essential point is that our main infrastructure has stood-up and our country can resume normal life within hours”.

Asot Michael, the country’s Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy said. “All our visitors remained safe during Hurricane Irma. The island’s Hotels suffered only minimal damage and have already commenced clean-up operations”.

Conditions on Barbuda are not fully clear as yet, but preliminary reports indicate no loss of life and only some damage to private property and one government facility. Minister Michael indicated that he would be travelling to Barbuda today to assess damage that will be addressed immediately.

“The important take away from all this is that Antigua and Barbuda remains open for business and is already resuming normal life including welcoming visitors to enjoy our little bit of paradise which God continues to protect”, the Minister concluded.

Antigua News Room