Hurricane Irma, the largest and most powerful hurricane (tropical storm) in decades struck several islands in the northern Caribbean last week. The hurricane was a Category 5 hurricane when these islands were hit. Category 5 hurricanes means that its winds are in excess of 157 mph or 252 km/h.
As was reported: Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms ever recorded, battered the islands of the northeast Caribbean early Wednesday (Sept. 6, 2017), leaving severe damage in its wake.
The Category 5 storm packing winds of up to 185 miles an hour, first made landfall at 2 a.m. on Barbuda, and later in the morning passed directly over St. Martin, the National Hurricane Center reported. There were reports of flooding, major damage to buildings, and severed electricity and phone service on those islands and Saint Barthélemy and Anguilla.
The four “most durable” buildings on St. Martin were destroyed, the French interior minister, Gérard Collomb, said at a cabinet meeting in Paris, “which means that in all likelihood the more rustic buildings are probably totally or partially destroyed.”
In the afternoon, the heart of the storm passed over the British Virgin Islands, the Hurricane Center reported. At 2 p.m., the hurricane’s eye was seven miles northwest of Road Town, capital of the territory, and 20 miles northeast of St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The hurricane continued along its path in the Caribbean Sea hitting the Turks and Caicos Islands, Cuba and Bahamas before coming ashore in Florida.
In the wake of hurricane Irma several islands were devastated, including Barbuda (the twin island of Antigua), Anguilla, St. Martin and Tortola (the British Virgin Islands). Over 40 persons lost their lives in the Caribbean and over a billion dollars in damage to homes and property. Additionally, looting has broken out in several islands making life even more dangerous and difficult.
Our Caribbean Muslim Network has been able to establish contact with the Muslims in Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Martin and Cuba. We have not been able to make contact to date with the Turks and Caicos Islands. The country most in need so far is St. Martin. They desperately need food and water.
Here are several reports from around the Caribbean Islands:
Aqiil from Cuba messaged “Brothers here in Cuba now we are not so bad what we can do to support those brothers and sisters in the Caribbean who are more in need than us.”
From Imam Abubakar Mohamed:
“Brother Osama from St. Martin who was evacuated to Grenada came to see me this morning. Currently he lives in a one bedroom apartment with his family and mother in law. Insha Allah (God willing) he should be able to find construction work in a few days as he has experience in tiling plumbing and electrical. However he has no tools. We will try to find some accommodation. Assistance in getting his family set up would be welcome.
Alhamdulillah since day one after the hurricane, the doors of the Nur Islamic Center of St. Thomas have remained open for the entire Muslim and non-Muslim community. In addition to the daily prayers, it serves as a local hub for various needs of the community; restrooms, water, food, charging port and shelter. Our doors continue to remain open for everyone, regardless of faith or ethnicity.”
“I pray that everyone is doing well. I was able to contact the Imam of St Maarten, Sheikh Yaqub. All Muslims are safe. Alhamdu lillah. Secondly, minimum damage to the masjid, just some damage to some windows and doors. Water and electricity have been restored.
“This is brother Abdul Aziz from Tortola masjid Alhamdulillah the Muslims of the British Virgin Islands are all ok a bit shaken up but ok. Alhamdulillah we are thankful to Allah SWT for our spared lives as it was a very close call for us all. Unfortunately the masjid and contents were totally destroyed so we have to start back from scratch. So any assistance that can be given in all forms would be greatly appreciated. We are about to begin the clean up process there and will set up a tent to host jummah etc until things get better inshallah. It’s a slow process as most of our homes were badly damaged as well, so it’s a double task situation. Please continue to make dua (supplication) for us and all those affected and may Allah SWT grant us the knowledge, strength and patience to overcome this test inshallah.”
“Myself and family we are ok just had water in the house and transportation damaged… Brother Umar with family whole house completely destroyed. Brother Noureddine who is not on island because of illness lost his entire business, his apartment with family is okay just water also; Brother Mohamed who is off island car is damaged also; brother Abdul few window pane blown out also water; another brother Abdul is ok just water. (I) will reach the others shortly and will update before the Jose reaches insha Allah. but seems like no one escape from the hurricane the island is about 90-95% damaged… St Maarten is the same kind of damage. My mom who lives there lost her entire roof and there are many here in Anguilla that lost roofs and houses completely
As the brother said a lot will have to do with reconstructing besides food clothing etc …so very important is tools and materials because a lot of people homes are damage and looking for shelter
Majority of the shelters that were churches and schools are destroyed. Alhamdulillah our Masjid structure is okay just water so the rug are 80% wet; we managed to have jumuah in the ladies section; no electricity so we cannot dry the rug and it is already smelling foul.”