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Hurricane Irma Brings Chaos and Despair to Caribbean

The Caribbean islands were hammered by Hurricane Irma, leaving tens of thousands of people without water or electricity.

People line up to board a plane and leave the island after it was devastated by Hurricane Irma, in Simpson Bay, St. Martin, Sept. 11, 2017.

Alvin Baez / Reuters

An overturned car lays on a street in Road Town, Tortola on the British Virgin Islands, on Sept. 10. Hurricane Irma slammed into the Florida Keys Sept. 10, lashing the tropical island chain with fearsome wind gusts.

 At least 27 people have been killed since Irma began its march through the Caribbean, smashing through a string of islands from tiny Barbuda on Wednesday, to the tropical paradises of St. Barts and St. Martin, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Turks and Caicos.

 

Joel Rouse / British Ministry of Defence via AFP - Getty Images

Two men look for belongings in the rubble of their restaurant on Sept. 10, on a beach in Orient Bay on the French Caribbean island of St. Martin after it was devastated by Irma hurricane. People on the islands of St. Martin  and St. Barts turn to the colossal task of rebuilding after Hurricane Irma laid waste to their infrastructure and shattered their lives.

Martin Bureau / AFP - Getty Images

Boats wrecked by Hurricane Irma are seen from a plane in St. Martin, Sept. 11.

Alvin Baez / Reuters

Locals affected by Hurricane Irma line up to collect drinking water in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba, Sept. 11.

The powerful storm ripped roofs off houses, collapsed buildings and flooded hundreds of thousands of coastline after cutting a trail of destruction across the Caribbean. Cuban officials warned residents to watch for even more flooding over the next few days.

Ramon Espinosa / AP

A doll dirty with mud sits after being recovered from a flooded house after the passing of Hurricane Irma, in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba, Sept. 11. Cuban state media reported 10 deaths despite the country's usually rigorous disaster preparations. More than 1 million were evacuated from flood-prone areas.

Ramon Espinosa / AP

Members of 24 Commando Royal Engineers offload kit and equipment from a RAF C17 in The British Virgin Islands as part of the UK Government Task Group deployment, which has been mounted to help those affected by Hurricane Irma on Sept. 9.

Cpl Timothy Jones / British Ministry of Defence via AFP - Getty Images

A woman reacts as she stands with others in line to board a plane and leave the island after it was devastated by Hurricane Irma, in Simpson Bay, St. Martin, Sept. 11.

Alvin Baez / Reuters

A soldier of the French Gendarmerie chases looters as they run past the devastation from Hurricane Irma, on the French island of St. Martin, near Marigot on Sept. 8.

 

Martin Burea / AFP - Getty Images

People walk through Havana's Cojimar neighborhood, after it was destroyed by Hurricane Irma, on Sept. 10. Residents of Cuba's historic capital Havana were waist-deep in floodwaters after Hurricane Irma, on its way to Florida, swept by, cutting off power and forcing the evacuation of more than a million people.

Yamil Lage / AFP - Getty Images

A mother comforts her child as they wait in front of Grand-Case Esperance airport entrance to leave St. Martin, on Sept. 10. 

Martin Bureau / AFP - Getty Images

A vehicle lies embedded in a shattered building, after it was flung there by the force of Hurricane Irma, just a few meters from the United States Embassy building , in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, Sept. 10.

Powerful waves and storm surge from Hurricane Irma topped Havana's iconic Malecon seawall and left thousands of homes, businesses and hotels swamped, even as the storm moved away from the island.

Ramon Espinosa / AP

A woman poses with her dog in front of her destroyed house in the central city of Remedios, Cuba, on Sept. 9.

Alejandro Ernesto / EPA

Debris litters the island of Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands on Sept. 11, following the passing of Hurricane Irma.

Britons left stranded on Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Irma said Britain's response had been faulty, but Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on September 11 called the criticism "completely unjustified". Britain has pledged £32 million ($42 million) in aid and sent hundreds of troops, supplies and rescue equipment on several flights to the British territories in the Caribbean since Friday. There are around 88,000 Britons living in the region.

Capt George Eatwell / British Ministry of Defence via AFP - Getty Images

A family from Saint Martin rests in a shelter after being evacuated to Guadeloupe, the French Caribbean island, in Pointe-a-Pitre on Sept. 10.

Helene Valenzuela / AFP - Getty Images

Yaneisis Martinez hugs her two dogs over the remains of her house destroyed by Hurricane Irma in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba, Sept. 11.

The powerful storm ripped roofs off houses, collapsed buildings and flooded hundreds of miles of coastline after cutting a trail of destruction across the Caribbean. Cuban officials warned residents to watch for even more flooding over the next few days.

Ramon Espinosa / AP

Cars sit surrounded by debris on the British Virgin Islands on Sept. 10. The wild isolation that made St. Barts, St. Martin, Anguilla and the Virgin Islands vacation paradises has turned them into cutoff, chaotic nightmares in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

British Ministry of Defence via AP

Royal Marine Commandos prepare to board an RAF A400M in Barbados to fly to the British Virgin Islands to provide disaster relief on Sept. 9.

Joel Rouse / British Ministry of Defence via AFP - Getty Images

People inspect the damage on Grand-Case Bay beach on the French Caribbean island of St. Martin on Sept. 11.

Martin Bureau / AFP - Getty Images

Members of the New York Air National Guard transport evacuees from St. Martin on an HC-130 to take them to San Juan, Puerto Rico after the airport was destroyed.

Erin Mills / N.Y. Air National Guard via AFP - Getty Images

A man sits on a porch on the destroyed town of Philipsburg after the passing of Hurricane Irma in St. Martin, Sept. 11. Irma cut a path of devastation across the northern Caribbean, leaving thousands homeless after destroying buildings and uprooting trees.

Carlos Giusti / AP

Royal Marines deliver aid and provide support to the islanders of Jost Van Dkye, British Virgin Islands on Sept. 11.

The team helped deliver essential aid using a small boat to support the isolated community of just 300 people. Britain sent a navy ship and almost 500 troops to the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos islands.

British Ministry of Defence via AP

People sit aboard a plane to leave the island of Simpson Bay, St Martin on Sept. 11.

Alvin Baez / Reuters

Mariela Leon sits in front of her flood damaged home in Isabela de Sagua, Cuba on Sept. 11. 

 

More Photos: Hurricane Irma Carves Path of Destruction in Caribbean

Ramon Espinosa / AP