By Rachel Lewis
September 11, 2017

Virgin boss Richard Branson has said that governments need to step in to help Caribbean islands that have been destroyed by Hurricane Irma.

Writing from Puerto Rico, Branson said—in a blog post that included pictures of damage from Irma—that he is helping to mobilize aid and recovery to the British Virgin Islands and other affected areas but that he needs “an enormous amount of help.”

“What makes the Virgin Islands unique is its isolated location—every island has been devastated, so there is no support to come from nearby. We must get more help to the islands to rebuild homes and infrastructure and restore power, clean water and food supplies.”

Branson called on the U.K. government to employ a Disaster Recovery Marshall Plan for the BVI and other territories that can ensure short-term aid and long-term infrastructure spending. “This will have to include building resilience against what is likely to be a higher intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, as the effects of climate change continue to grow,” he added.

Branson decided that he was going to stick out Hurricane Irma at his private home on Necker Island, his property was badly damaged and “bathroom and bedroom doors and windows” had flown 40 feet away, he said. At least 28 people died at Hurricane Irma barrelled through the island, destroying property and infrastructure.

 

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