The eye of Hurricane Irma passed over Barbuda in the early hours of the morning before tearing across St Barts and St Martin later.With powerful winds of up to 185mph (297km/h), Irma caused “apocalyptic” damage and devastation to the small Caribbean islands.
Michel Magras, senator of St Barts, said: “I am shocked by the monster that covers us, the island is devastated, it is apocalyptic, a lot of damage, many roofs destroyed.
“We are currently living the second part of the hurricane.”
One photograph showed a crumpled van rammed by the cyclone into another car in St Barts. Resident Alex Jacqua said: “The house shakes, it moves, this is Hiroshima.”We’ve just been deprived of electricity. It feels like a war, the wind is very strong, you hear a lot of noise everywhere, the windows vibrate, and we still have four to five hours to go.”
Another resident described trees being ripped out of the ground and roofs being blown off of houses.
Local Rudy Jules shared footage online of a flooded street littered with debris and floodwaters rising up the sides of cars parked on the street.
Hurricane Irma struck a group of islands in the Caribbean
Hurricane Irma struck the capital city of St Martin, Marigot
St Martin was not spared from the horrors of the hurricane. Twitter photographs show how the streets flooded and boats were tossed on to the beaches like rag dolls.
I am shocked by the monster that covers us, the island is devastated, it is apocalyptic, a lot of damage, many roofs destroyed
Michel Magras, St Barts Senator
A resident in St Martin shared terrifying pictures from within the middle of the hurricane as Irma passed over his home.Winds peeling off a metallic roof from the building in front of him, while cars, bins, rubbish and plants were scattered across the street.
“Saint Martin in the eye of the hurricane, already a lot of damage, the return of the winds may add more,” he tweeted.
Some of St Martin’s government buildings were struck down, according to French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb.