Economy

Branson Survives Irma's Wrath by Riding Out Storm in Wine Cellar

Branson Survives Irma's Wrath by Riding Out Storm in Wine Cellar”

Foreign office figures show there are now 88,000 British citizens in the British Overseas Territories of Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos islands.

British troops and police have been deployed to restore law and order on the British Virgin Islands after reports of looting in the wake of deadly Hurricane Irma, the Defence Secretary has said. Ghastly photos and videos from St. Martin and St. Barthelemy, also known as St. Barts, showed buildings in ruin and cars and trucks nearly submerged in the storm surge.

"I will be on Necker alongside our team, as I have been on the three times we have had hurricanes over the past 30 years". Necker and the whole area have been completely and utterly devastated. Necker Island "sustained extensive damage, the extent of which we are still assessing".

"Outside of the bunker, bathroom and bedroom doors and windows have flown 40 feet (12 metres) away".

"We in the territories feel like third-class citizens because I'd rather wager that if there were something coming like that, of the same magnitude, to the mainland United Kingdom, I suspect that there would be far more attention being paid".

But he said the British Virgin Islands, where his island is located, would need "major help to rebuild people's homes, buildings, livelihoods" and urged the British government to "send as much help as possible".

"In Anguilla, Montserrat, the British Virgin Islans and Turks and Caicos, our response still requires improvement and the arrival of HMS Ocean in two weeks' time will be later than any of us would wish. I haven't had a sleepover quite like it since I was a kid", Branson wrote. Strangely, it's a privilege to experience what is turning into possibly the strongest storm ever with such a great group of young people. "Watching the tortoises congregating together, as if they sense what is coming our way".

"Knowing our wonderful team as I do, I suspect there will be little wine left in the cellar when we all emerge".

No tweets, no Instagrams, no updates on Branson's blog - nothing.

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) has forecast Irma will reach the Keys and southern Florida on Sunday morning, bringing devastating winds, rain and storm surges up to 12ft high.

Branson's son, Sam, posted pictures of the storm's aftermath on his Instagram account and said that many buildings on the island were destroyed.

The elder Branson echoed the sentiment Thursday evening for people without access to fortified wine cellars.

Irma comes barely a week after Hurricane Harvey caused massive flooding in Texas.

"You should ensure you have your own contingency plans in place and consider your travel plans very carefully".



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