Widespread Devastation as Hurricane Irma Tears Through Caribbean
Hurricane Irma tore through the northeast Caribbean Wednesday, causing widespread devastation on the islands of Barbuda, Anguilla, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy.
As many as ten deaths have been reported. One official called Barbuda "barely habitable," estimating to the BBC that 50 percent of the island's population are now homeless.
The hurricane raked over Puerto Rico early Thursday, leaving one million without power and officials worried about flash flooding as the storm heads for the Dominican Republic. In Haiti, officials worry that the storm could wreak havoc on an island still recovering from Hurricane Matthew last year.
As reported by the Associated Press (AP):
"On St. Thomas in the nearby U.S. Virgin Islands, Laura Strickling spent 12 hours hunkered down with her husband and 1-year-old daughter in a boarded-up basement apartment with no power as the storm raged outside. They emerged to find the lush island in tatters. Many of their neighbors' homes were damaged and once-dense vegetation was largely gone.
'There are no leaves. It is crazy. One of the things we loved about St. Thomas is that it was so green. And it's gone," Strickling said. "It will take years for this community to get back on its feet.'"
For a deeper dive:
The move comes after regional authorities declared a state of emergency over the weekend after sightings of more than 50 bears in the town of Belushya Guba since December.
This year's letter from Bill and Melinda Gates focused on nine things that surprised them. For the Microsoft-cofounder, one thing he was surprised to learn was the massive amount of new buildings the planet should expect in the coming decades due to urban population growth.
"The number of buildings in the world is going to double by 2060. It's like we're going to build a new New York City every month for the next 40 years," he said.