Island of Barbuda is now empty; 'The damage is complete'

Island of Barbuda is now empty; 'The damage is complete'

The ambassador made compelling presentations to the representatives of both groups, who were visibly moved by a video presentation of the destruction of Barbuda and the evacuation of all its residents to Antigua.

"The damage is complete", Ronald Sanders, the Antigua and Barbuda ambassador to the United States, told Public Radio International.

"For the first time in 300 years", he said, "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". The hurricane was 378 miles wide when it descended on Barbuda, which is just 62 square miles.

"We've had most of the people we've brought over to Antigua in shelters", Sanders explained during an interview with PRI.

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. Sanders said that pre-hurricane preparation, including importing supplies from the US, helped provide for the evacuees.

Sanders went on to say that Hurricane Irma was "the most ferocious, cruel and merciless storm" in the history of Barbuda and that the island and its people had no chance against such a "huge monster".

Barbuda's relocated residents are now living in cramped conditions in Antingua's government buildings and nursing homes.

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The dogs will look for their next meal among the chicken, pigs, horses and goats, Karen Corbin, president of the Antigua and Barbuda Humane Society, told TIME.

That's an astronomical sum for a country with a gross domestic product of about $1 billion.

"While the government is doing it's very best, to cope with that situation and start a rebuilding process in Barbuda, we simply can't take on a project of that magnitude by ourselves", Sanders added.

Right now, initial estimates suggest that Barbuda will need about $200 million to recover. Barbuda is not just a disaster, it's a humanitarian crisis.

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..."

Mentioning that Barbuda has world-class beaches with pink sand and crystal clear water, he said the island is handsome for tourism.

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