'Whole houses' swept away on Branson's island

2017-09-07 21:00
Irma cut a path of devastation across the northern Caribbean, leaving thousands homeless after destroying buildings and uprooting trees.  (Tatiana Fernandez, AP)

Irma cut a path of devastation across the northern Caribbean, leaving thousands homeless after destroying buildings and uprooting trees. (Tatiana Fernandez, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


WATCH: The insanity of Hurricane Irma as she heads for Miami

2017-09-07 16:25

Hurricane Irma has ripped through the northern Caribbean, leaving at least 10 dead and thousands homeless, and is on course for a catastrophic strike on Florida. Watch. WATCH

London - British billionaire Richard Branson said on Thursday that "whole houses" on his private island in the Caribbean had been swept away by Hurricane Irma, leaving it "completely and utterly devastated".

"We took shelter from the strongest hurricane ever inside the concrete cellar on Necker and very, very fortunately it held firm," Branson, founder of the Virgin business empire, said in a blog post.

"I have never seen anything like this hurricane. Necker and the whole area have been completely and utterly devastated," he said, adding that he and his staff were all "safe and well".

"We are still assessing the damage, but whole houses and trees have disappeared.

"Outside of the bunker, bathroom and bedroom doors and windows have flown 12m away."

"I'm speaking these words from a satellite phone that is just about working, but all other communications are down," he said.

Branson said his company had made a donation to the British Red Cross and a Virgin Atlantic flight to Antigua on Thursday had brought in aid supplies including blankets and bottled water.

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".

Branson started out his business in London in 1970 to sell discount music records.

Proceeds from the shop helped build a recording studio, and Virgin Records came into being in 1972.

The company has since diversified into air travel, railways, healthcare and banking.

Branson's mane of blond hair and goatee beard made him one of the world's most recognisable businessmen.

Read more on:    richard branson  |  weather  |  hurricanes

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

HSE Manager

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R550 000.00 - R650 000.00 Per Year

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.