Ten people died as Hurricane Irma battered Cuba

Ten people died as Hurricane Irma battered Cuba

The damage caused by Irma's westward spin through the Caribbean is expected to be devastating to the fragile economies of the region, which are mostly dependent on tourism, financial services, fishing or agriculture. And it's not the only island to feel the impact.

Richard Branson among the devastation on Necker island. And more than 20 people have been killed. "It will take time for us to be in a position to welcome tourists again", Smith said in a statement.

He also acknowledged destruction in the northern keys where Cuba and foreign hotel management firms have built dozens of all-inclusive beach resorts in recent years. And a lot of trees are down and power's still out throughout Havana. He told the House of Commons there were 997 troops and 47 police officers in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

"This is a big warning already, when you know that climate change is getting more and more cruel", said Francisco Garcia, coach of Cuba's national karate team, whose home here was partially destroyed. Along with the island's Belongers, as they are called, a sizable Haitian and Dominican population work in the fishing industry, sending money to families back home. "We had to fend for ourselves", he told Reuters.

St. Martin, an 87-square kilometer island split roughly in half between the French overseas territory of St. Martin and Dutch-administered St. Maarten, has suffered property damage and power outages. And the French and Dutch and USA governments that have jurisdiction there have been trying to send in aid and law enforcement, but things are still very bad in all those places. European countries like France and Britain are also being asked to channel more help to islands like St. Martin.

The Government had faced claims that the United Kingdom had done less to evacuate its citizens than other nations and did not have the correct equipment in place to deal with the situation.

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WEISSENSTEIN: Evacuation has begun.

From there Irma slammed into the French/Dutch Island of St. Martin/St. Maarten, where residents described an even more frightening situation that left four dead. "I can't imagine not having Facebook now, that's how I got all of my feedback on what was going on".

The nearby Turks and Caicos islands were also badly hit, as were the southern Bahamas. The money will fund damage assessments as well as help with temporary shelters for displaced people and emergency relief supplies.

WEISSENSTEIN: St. Martin is really the one where I think the situation is the most awful. "These building are in really bad shape".

"We felt the full force of the strongest hurricane ever in the Atlantic Ocean". Weather forecasters believe Jose could still pose a threat to the continental US.

MARTIN: That's Michael Weissenstein. At the US Embassy in Havana, part of a fence that guards the compound was knocked over. Michael, thanks so much for speaking with us.

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