Hurricane destroys 90% of Caribbean Island
Hurricane Irma has killed at least three people, destroyed government buildings, tore roofs from houses and left islands without power or communications.
St. Martin/St. Maarten and St. Barts also felt the fury of the Category 5 storm, one of the strongest ever recorded in the Atlantic, according to updates from the region.
Reports of fatalities and widespread damage in northern Caribbean islands began to emerge Wednesday night after Hurricane Irma blasted through, packing devastating winds and rain.
"Barbuda right now is literally a rubble," Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda told reporters.
"The entire housing stock was damaged," Browne said after visiting the island of 1,800. "It is just a total devastation."
Browne said there currently is no water or phone service for Barbuda residents. He said one fatality, an infant, had been confirmed.
Communication was disrupted after winds snapped a cell tower in two on the island.
Irma damaged Barbuda's lone airport, which will now force officials to ferry supplies by boat and helicopter from Antigua. Browne estimated rebuilding would cost about $100 million.
"I have never seen any such destruction on a per capita basis compared to what I saw in Barbuda this afternoon," Browne told reporters.