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"Currently, the number of confirmed deaths attributable to Hurricane Irma stands at 12", Florida Division of Emergency Management spokesman Alberto Moscoso told AFP, as workers picked through the rubble left by the storm.

Rabinowitz said that she was lucky to work for a company with an office in Washington, D.C., and that she hoped to return to her parents' home on Long Island over the weekend temporarily.

Hurricane Irma swept across the Atlantic Ocean and American southeast this month, leaving a path of destruction.

Photos of the heartbreaking wreckage were posted by the Washington Post.

Barbuda's sister island of Antigua, however, appears relatively undamaged. "I$3 t is about the tens of thousands of people who have lost their homes and their livelihoods".

At least 27 people have been killed since Irma began its march through the Caribbean, smashing through a string of islands from tiny Barbuda on Wednesday, to the tropical paradises of St. Barts and St. Martin, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Turks and Caicos.

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Branson, who lives in the British Virgin Islands, which were devastated by Irma, rode out the storm in his wine cellar.

Billionaire mogul Richard Branson has spoken of enjoying a "more positive day" on the British Virgin Islands as more aid arrives after the devastating Hurricane Irma smashed into the Caribbean territory.

Smith is now on St. Croix, the largest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands (the other being St. Thomas) which was spared much of Irma's wrath, with her daughter. Prominent resident Richard Branson is heading a "Disaster Recovery Marshall Plan" in partnership with the British Red Cross and the government of the United Kingdom to rebuild homes, restore power and get clean water and food to residents. "It got really tense, to the point where business owners were asking, 'How do I get firearms?"

'But we love it, and we want to go out and rebuild eventually'. So people here, many of them, you know as I've been saying, are just living with even nothing of a roof over their head. To help the US Virgin Islands, Tim Duncan, a retired National Basketball Association star, has already pledged $250,000 to the recovery effort and promises to match other donations up to the first $1 million. Many of them reportedly feel abandoned by what they consider the mother country. "But there was no looting, no abuse of folks".

According to NASA science writer Kathryn Hansen, the visible browning of the islands could be down to fierce winds, which reached speeds of 185mph and tore plants and trees from the earth. Virgin Unite is also working with @unitebvi and @virginlimitededition to support the local BVI communities.

Aid organizations like the Red Cross are reportedly finding that cruise ships - which are like island-to-island buses in the Caribbean - are an effective means of getting desperately needed relief supplies like water and building materials into the basin.


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