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Photos: what Hurricane Irma’s destruction in the Caribbean looks like on the ground

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.

September 12

Cuba

Sven Creutzmann/Mambo photo/Getty Images
Havana
Yander Zamora/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Ciego de Ávila Province
Sven Creutzmann/Mambo photo/Getty Images
Cuban students help clean the house of an elderly woman in Havana.
Sven Creutzmann/Mambo photo/Getty Images
Workers try to repair the electricity and telephone service in Havana.
Yander Zamora/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Ciego de Ávila Province

Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
A boy stands beside a makeshift message board.
Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Cruz Bay
Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Cruz Bay
Caribbean Buzz Helicopters via AP
Cruz Bay
Caribbean Buzz Helicopters via AP
Cruz Bay

Saint Martin

Christophe Ena/AFP/Getty Images
Saint Martin
Christophe Ena/AFP/Getty Images
France's President Emmanuel Macron greets residents of Saint Martin.
Saint Martin
Jose Jimenez/Getty Images
President Macron speaks to a young girl from Grande Case.
Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
Geminga shipyard of Marigot
Aurelien Morissard/IP3/Getty Images
Civilians evacuating Saint Martin the day of President Macron’s visit.

September 11

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Cpl Darren Legg RLC/Ministry of Defense Crown via AP
Providenciales

Cuba

Ramon Espinosa/AP
Isabela de Sagua
Ramon Espinosa/AP
Isabela de Sagua
Ramon Espinosa/AP
Isabela de Sagua
Ramon Espinosa/AP
Isabela de Sagua
Ramon Espinosa/AP
Isabela de Sagua
Ramon Espinosa/AP
Isabela de Sagua
Ramon Espinosa/AP
Isabela de Sagua
Ernesto Mastrascusa/Getty Images
Havana
Ernesto Mastrascusa/Getty Images
Havana
Ernesto Mastrascusa/Getty Images
Havana
Ernesto Mastrascusa/Getty Images
Havana
Ernesto Mastrascusa/Getty Images
Havana

Saint Martin

Carlos Giusti/AP
Cold Bay community
Carlos Giusti/AP
Delaney Kertzious carries clothes she salvaged  from her house in the Cold Bay community.
Carlos Giusti/AP
Phillipsburg
Carlos Giusti/AP
Cold Bay community
Carlos Giusti/AP
U.S. citizens wait in line to evacuate Phillipsburg.
Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
Grand Case Bay
Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
Grand Case Bay
Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images)
Grand Case Bay
Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
Grand Case Bay
Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
Grand Case Bay
Vincent Jannink/AFP/Getty Images
Dutch king Willem-Alexander (second from right) and Minister of Internal Affairs Ronald Plasterk (second from left) visit Filipsburg, Saint Martin.

September 10

Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Ricardo Arduengo/AP
Charlotte Amalie
Ricardo Arduengo/AP
Charlotte Amalie
Ricardo Arduengo/AP
Charlotte Amalie
Ricardo Arduengo/AP
Charlotte Amalie
Ricardo Arduengo/AP
Charlotte Amalie

Cuba

Ramon Espinosa/AP
Havana
Ramon Espinosa/AP
Havana
Ramon Espinosa/AP
Havana
Ramon Espinosa/AP
Havana

Florida

Wilfredo Lee/AP
Miami Beach

September 9

Cuba

Desmond Boylan/AP
Ramon Espinosa/AP
Havana
Desmond Boylan/AP

September 8

Barbuda

Gemma Handy/AFP/Getty Images
Codrington
Gemma Handy/AFP/Getty Images
Codrington
Gemma Handy/AFP/Getty Images
Codrington
Gemma Handy/AFP/Getty Images)
Codrington

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Caribbean Buzz Helicopters via AP
Leverick Bay
Caribbean Buzz Helicopters via AP
Leverick Bay
Caribbean Buzz Helicopters via AP
Gun Creek

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Jalon Manson Shortte via AP
Jalon Manson Shortte via AP
Jalon Manson Shortte via AP
Jalon Manson Shortte via AP

Saint Martin

Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
Margot
Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
Fort Louis Marina, Marigot
Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
Fort Louis Marina, Marigot

Anguilla

Royal Navy/Ministry of Defense via AP
British Royal Navy arrives on Sandy Bay village.
Royal Navy/Ministry of Defense via AP
Royal Navy/Ministry of Defense via AP
Royal Logistics Corps conducts reconnaissance of hurricane damage.

Haiti

Dieu Nalio Chery/AP
Fort-Liberté
Dieu Nalio Chery/AP
Fort-Liberté
Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images
Malfetti, Fort-Liberté
Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images
Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

September 7

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Ian Brown/AP
U.S. Post Office
Ian Brown/AP
Ian Brown/AP
Ian Brown/AP
Charlotte Amalie

Barbuda

Anika E. Kentish/AP
Anika E. Kentish/AP

Saint Martin

Gerben Van Es/Dutch Defense Ministry via AP
Lionel Chamoiseau/AFP/Getty Images
Orient Bay
Lionel Chamoiseau/AFP/Getty Images
Orient Bay
Lionel Chamoiseau/AFP/Getty Images
Orient Bay
Lionel Chamoiseau/AFP/Getty Images
Lionel Chamoiseau/AFP/Getty Images
Concordia, Marigot

Dominican Republic

Tatiana Fernandez/AP
Nagua
Tatiana Fernandez/AP
Nagua
Tatiana Fernandez/AP
Nagua

Haiti

Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images
Cap-Haïtien
Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images
Cap-Haïtien
Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images
Cap-Haïtien

Dominican Republic

Tatiana Fernandez/AP
Samana
Tatiana Fernandez/AP
Samana
Tatiana Fernandez/AP
Samana

Saint Martin

Lionel Chamoiseau/AFP/Getty Images
Marigot, near the Bay of Nettle
Lionel Chamoiseau/AFP/Getty Images
Marigot, near the Bay of Nettle
Lionel Chamoiseau/AFP/Getty Images
Marigot, near the Bay of Nettle

September 6

Saint Martin

Lionel Chamoiseau/AFP/Getty Images
Marigot, near the Bay of Nettle
Lionel Chamoiseau/AFP/Getty Images
Marigot, near the Bay of Nettle
Lionel Chamoiseau/AFP/Getty Images
Marigot, near the Bay of Nettle
Lionel Chamoiseau/AFP/Getty Images
Marigot, near the Bay of Nettle
Gerben Van Es/Dutch Defense Ministry via AP
Gerben Van Es/AFP/Getty Images
Philipsburg
Gerben Van Es/AFP/Getty Images
Philipsburg
Gerben Van Es/AFP/Getty Images
Philipsburg
Gerben Van Es/AFP/Getty Images
Philipsburg
Lionel Chamoiseau/AFP/Getty Images
Hotel Mercure in Marigot, near the Bay of Nettle

Puerto Rico

Jose Jimenez/Getty Images
Luquillo Beach
Carlos Giusti/AP
Fajardo
Carlos Giusti/AP
Fajardo
Ricardo Arduengo/AFP/Getty Images
Fajardo