Chinese premier sends condolences to hurricane-hit Antigua and Barbuda

Venezuelan Military Aircraft loading supplies at the Hewanorra International Airport

Sanders described it as the "most ferocious, cruel and merciless storm" the island had ever experienced. "It was 378 miles (608 km) wide when it hit Barbuda".

Fortunately the storm diverted without too much damage to Antigua, which has quickly been able to return to normal life.

As reported by CNN, Sanders, who has been the US ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda since 2015, said the damage from the storm "was complete", adding that there is not one single living person on the island.

All 1800 residents living on Barbuda were forced to evacuate in the wake of Hurricane Irma, a 608-kilometre wide storm that smashed almost every structure on the island, which is only 160 square kilometres.

"We've had most of the people we've brought over to Antigua in shelters", Sanders explained during an interview with PRI. "We are committed to helping Barbudans rebuild after the devastation caused by Irma, and this will be an important step forward", said Vanessa Slowey, CEO of Digicel, Caribbean and Central America.

"This was a huge monster", he says.

NASA Earth Observatory Antigua and Barbuda before and after Hurricane Irma.

Pets and livestock also have been left to fend for themselves on the wind-swept island.

The Go Fund Me campaign Tyrell started raised more than $3,000 in the first few days; enough to buy supplies and convinced the government to allow access to the island.

Evacuees from Barbuda were sent to Antigua, which did not suffer the same level of damage from Irma.

"We must build properties that can withstand winds of up to 250 miles per hour", Browne said. However, the conditions are not ideal. "It's government facilities in which they're being located".

Right now, initial estimates suggest that Barbuda will need about $200 million to recover.

"But", the ambassador said, "there is a natural desire by the Barbudan community to return to the island; something that is hard until basic services can be restored". The salt spray whipped on to the island by the hurricane could also coat and dry out the leaves while they're still on the trees, thus leaving them brown.

"We are a small island community - the gross domestic product of Antigua is $1 billion a year", he told USA Today. "We can not cope with our own resources alone". "We, unfortunately, who contribute less than naught point naught percent of pollution of the world's atmosphere, are the world's greatest victims".

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