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British businessman Richard Branson has released pictures showing the devastation left behind by Hurricane Irma on his private island, Necker Island—before announcing plans to aid in the recovery of Caribbean islands.

The 67-year-old owner of Virgin Atlantic airlines revealed the pictures on his personal blog and Twitter – showing his devastated luxurious island.

Branson survived the worst of Hurricane Irma by hunkering down in his wine cellar.

“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,” the businessman wrote on his personal blog.

“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 also announced his efforts to aid British Virgin Islands and other Caribbean Islands to recover. “I am writing from Puerto Rico, where I have travelled in order to further mobilize aid efforts and rebuilding plans for the British Virgin Islands and wider Caribbean.”

“Communications remain mostly down in the BVI after Hurricane Irma. 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,” he added.

The business magnate emphasized his focus on British Virgin Islands that has “no support to come from nearby” and needs “more help” to aid the recovery and restore clean water, power and food supplies.

He wrote: “However, the BVI needs an enormous amount of help to recover from the widespread devastation. Our thoughts are with all the people and regions hit by Hurricane Irma, and all those in the US communities currently facing the storm.

“What makes the Virgin Islands unique is its isolated location – every island has been devastated, so there is no support to come from nearby. We must get more help to the islands to rebuild homes and infrastructure and restore power, clean water and food supplies.”

Branson thanked people for the “messages of support” and said he was certain the “amazing people” living in the islands “will bounce back stronger than ever.”



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