Hurricane Irma brought death and destruction across a huge area. The devastation was of such an extent that a concerned US envoy to Antigua and Barbuda Ronald Sanders was forced to make a very big statement. He said that after Hurricane Irma struck the Caribbean islands and moved to Florida Keys, it ensured that no one was left on the island of Barbuda, where a civilisation had existed for centuries, indiatimes.com reported. He said, “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”.
Days after Hurricane Irma destroyed an entire island of Barbuda, NASA released a series of satellite images showing the Caribbean before and after the storm. As per NASA website, the hurricane had passed the northernmost Virgin Islands on September 6. During the time, Irma was a category 5 storm with the maximum speed of 295 kilometers per hour. Hurricane Irma had destroyed a number of islands before moving on to the Florida Keys.
“Lush green tropical vegetation can be ripped away by a storm’s strong winds, leaving the satellite with a view of more bare ground. Also, salt spray whipped up by the hurricane can coat and desiccate leaves while they are still on the trees,” NASA said in its report. The report further added, “the destruction is also clearly visible on Barbuda. These images were acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites”.
The report added that in contrast to Barbuda, the vegetation on Antigua seems to relatively healthy and intact. The island had sustained little damage as storm’s centre passed to the north. By September 7, electricity supply had been restored to most part of the island, NASA said further.