Richard Branson reveals devastation to his Necker Island home in the wake of Hurricane Irma with buildings blown away and trees ripped from the ground
- The billionaire has revealed just how destructive the storm has been on Necker
- Videos and photos show buildings destroyed and trees ripped out of the ground
- He has travelled to Puerto Rico to mobilise aid efforts but will soon be returning
British billionaire Richard Branson has revealed the extent of devastation to his luxurious Necker Island home in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
The entrepreneur posted a video online showing how the storm has destroyed his British Virgin Islands home, with buildings blown away and trees ripped from the ground.
The 67-year-old locked himself in his wine cellar as the hurricane, the most powerful to have ever hit the Atlantic, started raging outside on Wednesday.
The tycoon has now travelled to Puerto Rico where he is helping coordinate the effort to deliver aid and a rebuilding plan for the British Virgin Islands.
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Richard Branson (pictured) has posted photos and videos revealing just how devastating Hurricane Irma has been on the British Virgin Island of Necker
Writing on his blog, he said: ‘As you can see from the photos, much of the buildings and vegetation on Necker has been destroyed or badly damaged.
‘We felt the full force of the strongest hurricane ever in the Atlantic Ocean.
‘But we are very fortunate to have a strong cellar built into Necker’s Great House and were very lucky all of our teams who stayed on Island during the storm are safe and well.’
He added: ‘I am writing from Puerto Rico, where I have travelled in order to further mobilise aid efforts and rebuilding plans for the British Virgin Islands and wider Caribbean.
‘Communications remain mostly down in the BVI after Hurricane Irma.
Mr Branson, 67, stayed locked up in his wine cellar on Necker while the powerful storm started raging outside on Wednesday. Pictured is what is left of part of the island
The billionaire has now travelled to Puerto Rico to mobilise aid and rebuilding efforts, but said he will soon return to Necker
‘After sharing these updates and talking to various governments, aid agencies and media, we will be heading straight back to the BVI to continue helping the recovery effort on the ground.’
Mr Branson said he and his team have spent the last two days visiting people who live on the island of Gorda, handing out aid and supplies.
He said the visit showed ‘first-hand just how ferocious and unforgiving’ Irma has been.
The billionaire also called on the UK Government to play its part, demanding a ‘disaster recovery Marshall Plan’ for the British Virgin Islands and other Caribbean islands.
The tycoon said he has been ‘overwhelmed’ by people’s support and touched by the ‘wonderful acts of kindness’ in wake of the disaster
He also called on the UK Government to play their part in the recovery effort, demanding a ‘disaster recovery Marshall Plan’ for the British Virgin Islands and other ones affected
He added: ‘The UK government will have a massive role to play in the recovery of its territories affected by Irma – both through short-term aid and long-term infrastructure spending.
‘The region needs a “Disaster Recovery Marshall Plan” for the BVI and other territories that will aid in recovery, sustainable reconstruction and long-term revitalization of the local economy.
‘Our thoughts are with all the people and regions hit by Hurricane Irma, and all those in the US communities currently facing the storm.
The Virgin founder (pictured) camped out in his wine cellar bunker on Necker Island playing Perudo as the monster storm raged outside
‘What makes the Virgin Islands unique is its isolated location – every island has been devastated, so there is no support to come from nearby.
‘Over the coming weeks, we’ll have to assess exactly what is needed.
‘It is clear to me creating jobs is paramount – there will be a huge amount of rebuilding to be done and people will need work to help rebuild their lives as well as their homes.’
He ended his post by thanking people for their ‘overwhelming’ support and said he was touched by the ‘wonderful acts of human kindness’ in wake of the disaster.
Mr Branson’s ‘paradise’ private island pictured before Hurricane Irma left it decimated