Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

US Citizens in US Virgin Islands need to turn in their guns

US Citizens in US Virgin Islands need to turn in their guns

After securing the luxury residence, the group bedded down on bunks and fold-up sofas before retreating to the concrete wine cellar as the storm hit.

He wrote: "Glad to say that all humans on Necker are ok".

Initially Branson, who sat out the vicious storm in his underground wine cellar with his guests and members of his team, wrote a blog post for Virgin earlier in the week, saying the buildings on Necker Island were "really strong" with hurricane blinds and "should be able to handle extreme weather pretty well".

The English business magnate wrote in a blog post for Virgin on his satellite phone, saying he had "never seen anything like" Hurricane Irma and added that it was a "traumatic time" on the island.

Becky Guile and her partner Dean
Becky Guile and her partner Dean

The tycoon wrote: "This story is about the tens of thousands of people who have lost their homes and their livelihoods".

He told how he has travelled to Puerto Rico to "further mobilise aid efforts" but is planning to head to the British Virgin Islands to continue the recovery effort.

The U.S. military, relief agencies and businesses brought in supplies and evacuated people from St. John and St. Thomas, two of the three islands that make up the U.S. territory of 110,000. "We have seen first-hand just how ferocious and unforgiving this storm was".

The entrepreneur also confirmed that his company had made a donation to the British Red Cross and encouraged others to make a contribution via Virgin Money Giving.

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The Virgin boss said his private Caribbean island had been "completely and utterly devastated" by the hurricane which passed over the British Virgin Islands with winds of up to 110 miles per hour (177kph).

Richard Branson at the Burj Al Arab on the day the inaugural Virgin Atlantic flight from London's Heathrow arrived at Dubai International Airport on March 28, 2006 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The megastorm is estimated to be around 400 miles wide and more than 6.3 million people have been evacuated from Florida - one of the biggest exoduses in United States history.

The premier of the British Virgin Islands on Sunday, September 10, called for the United Kingdom to provide long-term support in the wake of Hurricane Irma, which killed 5 people in the territory.

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Around five million people have been left without power and residents are battling winds of up to 130mph.

Businessman Branson, who has lived in the British Virgin Islands for the past 11 years, said in a blog post on www.virgin.com that the region needed a "Disaster Recovery Marshall Plan" to rebuild and revitalize its economy - a reference to the multibillion-dollar US program that helped rebuild Western Europe after the devastation of World War Two.

But mere mortals need to shell out £40,000 a night.

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