The Barbadian community in the storm-ravaged Leeward Islands is said to be fully accounted for and safe, following the passage of deadly Hurricane Irma this week.
This country’s Honorary Consul in Antigua Pedro Corbin reported today that approximately 150 Barbadians who are currently resident in St John’s were spared the worst impact of the storm.
Corbin, who has diplomatic responsibility for St Marteen and the United States Virgin Islands, also said Barbadians there were also generally doing well, despite suffering some damage to their homes.
“St Marteen is [in] really bad [shape]. There is a lot of devastation, quite a lot of devastation, and so is St Thomas [in the USVI].
“I just heard from our manager in St Thomas via Whatsapp. He sent me a message to say he was on his way to his office to see what damage is there, but they seem to be in pretty bad shape as well,” Corbin told Barbados TODAY this afternoon.
“I spoke with my manager in St Marteen yesterday. St Marteen is in pretty bad shape. They were under a curfew yesterday. So they couldn’t get out. His house got damaged, he lost part of his roof but he and his family are okay and he was trying to get out today to do an assessment and get back to me,” he said, adding that from all reports Barbadians were “okay”.
So far ten deaths have been blamed on Irma – a powerful category five hurricane that is continues to adversely affect the northern Caribbean after decimating Barbuda and parts of Anguilla and St Marteen.
“[Barbuda] is really bad, and we are just trying to see what we can do to assist them over there,” said Corbin, while referring to official reports that about 90 to 95 per cent of the residential and commercial structures on Antigua’s sister island had suffered some sort of damage.
However, he said life in St John’s was already returning to normal even though there was still significant cleaning up to do following the storm’s passage between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
“It is looking as though between 80 to 90 of the country should be back on with electricity tonight. The telephones are pretty much in tact although you are having some issues with calls not going through and drop calls. Internet is okay, albeit slow, [but] from the Barbadian standpoint it seems as if the community here is okay,” the honorary consul told Barbados TODAY, while pointing out that the island was still under hurricane watch as another system — Jose — approaches.