US Virgin Islands refusing entry to non-American Irma evacuees, survivors say

Besides dispatches from residents on St. John trickling in sporadically on various Facebook pages and blogs, information about emergency response efforts on the Caribbean island had been spotty at best immediately following Hurricane Irma this week.

St. Thomas and St. John, two of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, took almost a direct hit from Category 5 Irma, leaving many portions of both islands in shambles, forests stripped bare, and residents likely in the dark for weeks or months, officials say.

He said 90 percent of St. Thomas’ electrical distribution was destroyed and about half of St. John’s grid is down.

They will now be taken to Puerto Rico.

“Basically, life-saving commodities is what we are getting in there”, he said.

“There was, however, significant impact to our systems and services in Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks & Caicos Islands”, said John Reid, CEO, Cable & Wireless.

Gov. Kenneth Mapp said it may take “months, months, months” before even power is restored.

President Trump issued a major disaster declaration for the US Virgin Islands following Hurricane Irma. “Electricity is down and they are saying it may be down for years”, Anguila resident Imogen Gough, 49, told TIME on Tuesday.

Right now, the Kentucky National Guard has more than 60 soldiers from the 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade serving in various roles in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida. “Throughout my life, the Virgin Islands has meant so much to me”. Anyone who goes from the BVI to the US VI in these circumstances does not want to stay there. “They are in need!”

Cuban brigades and volunteers are continuing the arduous task of rebuilding after the damaging and deadly effects of Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful storms to hit the region that left dozens dead and caused widespread damage. The water supply in Havana, the capital, was affected because of damage to the electrical system.

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