British billionaire Richard Branson, who faced Hurricane Irma in the basement of his Necker Island home, has revealed the extent of devastation to his luxurious property. The entrepreneur posted a video online showing how the storm has destroyed his British Virgin Islands home, with buildings blown away and trees ripped from the ground.
The 67-year-old locked himself in his wine cellar as the most powerful hurricane to have ever hit the Atlantic started raging outside on Wednesday, the 6th of September.
The Virgin Records founder afterward traveled to Puerto Rico where he is helping coordinate the aid efforts and a rebuilding plan for the British Virgin Islands.
Virgin founder Richard Branson has posted photos and videos revealing just how devastating Hurricane Irma has been on the British Virgin Island of Necker
Aerial shots show how Branson’s resort was reduced to rubble by the force of Hurricane Irma
The hurricane destroyed much of the resort and drove huge deposits of sand up in to its buildings
Trees were torn out of the ground and furniture left strewn around the resort after the devastating hurricane hit
Branson wrote on his blog: “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. 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 added: “I am writing from Puerto Rico, where I have travelled in order to further mobilise aid efforts and rebuilding plans for the British Virgin Islands and wider Caribbean.”
Looking out from Branson’s home: the enterpreneur said “much of the buildings and vegetation on Necker has been destroyed or badly damaged”
Branson, 67, stayed locked up in his wine cellar on Necker while the powerful storm was raging outside
The plush surroundings were left in ruins as the hurricane ripped across the island
The billionaire has now travelled to Puerto Rico to mobilise aid and rebuilding efforts, but said he will soon return to Necker
Branson’s luxury resort is built on Branson’s Necker Island, part of the British Virgin Islands
The tycoon also wrote: “Communications remain mostly down in the British Virgin Islands 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.”
Branson said he and his team have spent the last two days visiting people who live on the island of Gorda, handing out aid and supplies. He said the visit showed “first-hand just how ferocious and unforgiving” Irma has been.
The billionaire also called on the UK Government to play its part, demanding a ‘disaster recovery Marshall Plan’ for the British Virgin Islands and other Caribbean islands.
Branson said the hurricane has been “ferocious and unforgiving”
He has called upon the UK Government demanding a ‘disaster recovery Marshall Plan’ for the BVI and other affected Carribean islands be put in place
The tycoon said he has been ‘overwhelmed’ by people’s support and touched by the ‘wonderful acts of kindness’ in wake of the disaster
“The UK government will have a massive role to play in the recovery of its territories affected by Irma – both through short-term aid and long-term infrastructure spending,” Branson said.
“The region needs a ‘Disaster Recovery Marshall Plan’ for the BVI and other territories that will aid in recovery, sustainable reconstruction and long-term revitalisation of the local economy. Our thoughts are with all the people and regions hit by Hurricane Irma, and all those in the US communities currently facing the storm.”
Huge deposits of sand were driven up in to the buildings at Richard Branson’s Necker Island resort
A video posted by the entrepreneur shows how the storm has destroyed his British Virgin Islands home
Necker Island is a 30-hectare (74-acre) island in the British Virgin Islands just north of Virgin Gorda
The island’s land is entirely owned by Sir Richard Branson and is part of the Virgin Limited Edition portfolio of luxury properties; it can accommodate up to 40 people
Branson camped out in his wine cellar bunker on Necker Island playing Perudo as the monster storm raged outside
“What makes the Virgin Islands unique is its isolated location – every island has been devastated, so there is no support to come from nearby. Over the coming weeks, we’ll have to assess exactly what is needed,” Branson also said in his post.
“It is clear to me creating jobs is paramount – there will be a huge amount of rebuilding to be done and people will need work to help rebuild their lives as well as their homes.”
The businessman ended his post by thanking people for their ‘overwhelming’ support and said he was touched by the ‘wonderful acts of human kindness’ in wake of the disaster.