IRIN | Hurricane Irma Live Blog Antigua-Barbuda 185mph!

Back in Antigua after surveying the damage in cut-off Barbuda, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has confirmed one infant fatality from Hurricane Irma and said that a “search and rescue operation” is underway in case of more casualties. Fleshing out an earlier statement that 90 percent of buildings had been “decimated”, Browne told local ABS Television/Radio that an estimated 60 percent of the 1,600-strong Barbudan populaton could now be regarded as “homeless”.“What I saw was heart-wrenching, I mean absolutely devastating,” Browne said. The prime minister also acknowledged a league of difference between the 185mph winds that demolished much of Barbuda and the 135mph battering Antigua endured, even though the islands aren’t that far apart. “What is instructive is that a diference of 30-50 miles involving a hurricane can make a major difference,” he said, putting the cost of reconstruction on Barbuda alone at $150 million.

Source: IRIN | Hurricane Irma Live Blog