We had no sooner taken stock of the extraordinary damage wrought by Hurricane Harvey in Texas than another uniquely fierce and record-breaking hurricane began heading straight toward the Caribbean and the southeast US.
We’ve been tracking the damage from Hurricane Irma since Thursday, and the images coming out of region reveal that the storm’s impact on several Caribbean islands — including St. Martin/St. Maarten, Barbuda, Anguilla, the US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, and parts of Cuba — was severe. "I think it's going to take a long time for Barbuda to get back on its foot,” one Barbudan who evacuated to Antigua told CNN. “Everything is completely destroyed."
More than 36 people in the region have been reported dead from the storm, and emergency responders are expecting the recovery to take years. On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron visited St. Martin as part of a trip to offer support and relief supplies to French territories in the Caribbean impacted by the storm. The US Coast Guard and various humanitarian groups are also on the ground in the response effort. But food and water shortages were being reported in many of the affected islands on Wednesday.
Irma’s winds, which peaked at 185 mph, tore through human settlements and toppled trees, while its rain and storm surge have flooded homes and streets. Here are some of the most telling images from the ground we’ve seen so far from Irma’s path.