The island of Barbuda is “literally under water” and “barely habitable” after nearly all of its buildings were destroyed by Hurricane Irma.
Gaston Browne, prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, told a local broadcaster that one baby had died and about 60% of the population of about 1,800 is now homeless after Irma bore down upon the eastern Caribbean.
The islands’ minister of foreign affairs said that more than 90% of buildings on Barbuda had been destroyed by the Category 5 storm with 185 mph winds.
Browne promised that residents of Antigua, which has a larger population of around 80,000, would help their fellow citizens recover.
One death in Barbuda adds to two deaths in nearby St. Barts and St. Martin, according to the French Overseas Affairs Minister Annick Girardin.
The estimated cost of rebuilding Barbuda is expected to be at least $150 million, the beginning of what could be a devastating impact from the storm that has hit Puerto Rico and is now moving towards the U.S. mainland.
Authorities in Florida issued emergency warnings on Tuesday, with officials in Georgia and South Carolina following suit for their states’ coastal areas after forecasts showed Irma veering northward.