Hurricane Irma: Caribbean counts the cost of deadly storm

A photo taken on September 7, 2017 shows damage in Orient Bay on the French Caribbean island of Saint-Martin, after the passage of Hurricane Irma.Image copyright

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A photo shows damage in Orient Bay on the French Caribbean island of Saint-Martin

As deadly Hurricane Irma barrelled through the Caribbean that will week, those places already hit are braced for a prolonged recovery.

the item has caused more than $10bn (£7.6bn) in damage across the Caribbean so far, disaster risk experts said on Friday.

that will would certainly make the item the costliest storm ever to hit the region, the Centre for Disaster Management along with Risk Reduction Technology said.

Airports are closed or inoperable along with cruise lines have cancelled voyages.

Some parts of the region, such as St Kitts along with Puerto Rico, faced extreme weather, yet appear to have avoided the worst of the storm.

yet various other places have been shaken “to their core”, the secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Hugh Riley, told the BBC.

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Media captionThe island of Barbuda can be “barely habitable”, says PM Gaston Browne

Mr Riley said people were currently focused on protecting lives.

“that will’s first along with foremost … yet yes, clearly the item has not escaped our attention that will the economic wellbeing of the Caribbean can be taking a hit,” he said.

  • How do you count the costs of a storm?

Irma can be the second major storm to strike that will season.

Financial analysts have estimated losses via Storm Harvey, which hit Texas along with the Gulf of Mexico, at $90bn (£68bn), including damages along with lost output. Texas officials say the item could cost double that will to rebuild.

Irma has caused an estimated $150m in damage on Barbuda, the island’s prime minister has estimated.

Damages on French islands are anticipated to exceed 200m euros (£180m), insurer Caisse Centrale de Reassurance said.

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Ministry of Defence

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British troops are on the island of Anguilla to assist with disaster relief

Irma has affected an estimated 1.2m people inside Caribbean before heading on to Florida inside US.

The $10bn estimate for the Caribbean does not include damage inside Dominican Republic or Cuba, which were later inside storm’s path.

Although many places are still assessing the damage via Irma, the item can be already clear that will the combination of storms means 2017 can be shaping up to be one of the costliest years ever for the insurance industry, Paul Schultz, chief executive of Aon Securities, told the BBC.

“Both via an economic perspective along with via an insured perspective losses are going to be truly catastrophic,” he said.

Much of the damage sustained in Harvey was not covered by insurance.

cost warning

Harvey’s path through the Gulf of Mexico along with Texas disrupted oil production along with refining plants along with contributed to a spike in gas prices.

Those problems deepened in Florida that will week, as families stocked up on petrol in advance of Irma. cost search site, GasBuddy, estimated that will more than 40% of stations in some areas were without fuel as officials ordered evacuations.

Authorities in Florida said they had received thousands of reports of cost gouging – whereby sellers raise prices beyond what can be considered fair – on items such as petrol along with water.

Several airlines pledged to cap prices on flights for evacuations, after an outcry over fare increases.

Those companies were already grappling with millions in losses stemming via cancelled flights related to Harvey.

  • $68.9bn – 159 dead Sandy, 2012

  • $47bn – 61 dead Andrew, 1992

  • $33.9bn – 112 dead Ike, 2008

  • $26.4bn – 57 dead Ivan, 2004


Analysts said the airlines could face prolonged challenges, depending on the scale of the damage wrought by Irma inside tourist destinations of the Caribbean along with Florida.

“Curtailed travel to the south along with to the Caribbean can be likely material,” analysts for The Buckingham Research Group wrote in a note.

An analysis of tourist traffic inside Caribbean found that will the item fell by 2% after a typical hurricane along with by as much as 20% for major events.

At least two hotels on St Thomas inside US Virgin Islands have already said they will be closed for months. along with another hurricane can be on its way.

The US, UK, France along with the Netherlands are among those providing help to places affected by the storm, yet a long-term decline in travel would certainly be a blow to a major driver of the Caribbean economy.

Tourism directly along with indirectly contributed about 15% of Caribbean GDP last year, according to the planet Trade Organization.

“There isn’t any question that will we as Caribbean people know how to get up along with stand on our feet,” said Mr Riley. “The question can be how long the item will take.”

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