The virgin islands after ilma: “it’s like stepping on another planet.”


Just over a week ago, hurricane Irma arrived at the door of the virgin islands. Category 5 storm historic in its terrible power, Irma will cut into family and hotel exposed material, so they send out a floor, roof and light, like many matchstick.
Within a day, the storm made the islands so unrecognisable that the satellites could record serious changes in space. Once the virgin islands – the United States and the United Kingdom – shimmering green in lush vegetation, this vision is buried under the debris of uprooted trees and broken buildings.
Two natural-color images provided by NASA’s earth observatory depict the United States and the British virgin islands: the top image shows the green islands before hurricane Irma; The bottom image shows the storm that has been uprooted and destroyed most of the island chain.
The days since then seem to have been a lifetime for many residents of the United States and Britain.
“Although there are some houses survived – some houses just lost the roof – some of the house was completely destroyed,” virgin islands port authority executive director of the Max Planck tells NPR’s David Jason Beaubien. “I mean, all you see is rubble.”
St. Thomas and st. John — two of the most affected islands in U.S. territory — have almost no electricity, the U.S. virgin islands gov.kenneth Mapp told NPR’s Ari Shapiro. In addition to 10 percent of the power lines in the SAN Thomas chaos, one of the hospitals is useless by the imar hospital.
For the residents of the virgin islands, the aftermath is a time of hopelessness, fear, and occasionally improbable odds. Here are some of their stories, in their own words: three portraits of the serious new world created by imar.
On Tuesday, the sun suffered a badly damaged apartment in a tall building in st. Thomas. Many residents say they have lost everything in the category five storm and are still struggling to cope with the ravages of the storm a few days later.
When the storm hit st. Thomas, Laura Dixon Strickling said she could feel the wind not just outside her shelter, but even inside her skin.
“Pressure – you can feel it in the middle of every bone in your body and feel like you’re going to explode from inside,” she told NPR by phone.
She and her husband, 15 months old, and another couple hid in the basement of her landlord with their children. They filled the basement with supplies. As they squatted under the storm, they looked at it from above and stared at the satellite tracking device on the Irma’s mobile phone.
The wind has been searching for a hole on every surface, and it has been surging in.
“It’s like you’re being attacked by all kinds of potential.”
When the storm finally passed, she could not identify the neighbor she knew before entering the basement.
Strickland said: “the impact is not to see a complete change of feeling in the world, it is like on another planet, every green thing is gone, every tree were broken, our neighbor’s roof was missing. “We turned around and found our own roof was still there — and you know, there was a lot of relief at that moment, because you knew you would have at least what you needed to survive.”
The building, located in st. John’s, was once a gift shop for tourists, and Tuesday was nothing more than a pile of broken trees, downed lamp-posts and the abandoned corpse of an SUV.
Elsewhere on the island, Jeff Neevel escaped the worst. He chose to ride a hurricane in his home, and he built the hurricane with heavy materials after hurricane Marilyn built the wreckage of his last house more than two decades ago.
“We lost a window, a tree fell on my truck, all these things,” neville told NPR by phone. “But that’s trivial, and it’s very small in terms of the experience of others and the fact that they have to be reintegrated.”
St. Thomas reformed church pastor said neville, when the storm passed, and he went out to look for the smallest damage when he took it as a sign: “this is I give up rather than accept the time.”
“After the storm, all of us went out and said, ‘ok, there it is. ‘it’s terrible, but what did you do? You have to bend down to pick something and put it back in place. “Neevel said. “That’s what we do.”
On Sunday, a woman and her two children were passing debris on the streets of st. Thomas in the U.S. virgin islands.
With my brother’s workshop, the salvation army, the Red Cross and other churches in the region, Neevel said his congregation soon began to work “to satisfy and meet basic needs.” That means more than 400 people a day, canned food, toiletries and diapers, used to reach out the door.
“This is what I know – private citizens, nonprofits, the church is working together to achieve this, and I don’t know what’s going on at the government level.”
He heard the helicopter overhead, he heard the truck was on the road, and he knew that the coast guard had discharged the supplies – but “what we asked for, we haven’t seen yet.”
Stricklin said she felt the lack of federal aid.
“I think we all hope that we can see on the ground in one day some official there,” she said, noticed her house to stay on the island is one of the main artery of transit – but she said she couldn’t see anyone. “On the third day, sitting there waiting to see the uniform, waiting to see some evidence that help was coming, we began to panic.”
In Irma arrived in two weeks before moving to st Thomas’s assistant doctor students Melody Zhang, told NPR by email, she was trapped on the road for a few days trapped in her neighbor, but the neighbor invited me to their home to share their generators.”
By Saturday, she had found a boat willing to take her and her classmates to the island – but she had to move quickly. “So I left everything behind, except my backpack and my back clothes, and I was safe.”
She had reason to worry: some of the people who stayed on the island said they saw the collapse of law and order immediately after they saw imar.
“A few days ago, I was walking around here and there was some looting, and I saw some tension,” Mr. Newell said. “It’s kind of crazy, like a war zone, where people just walk around like zombies.”
Nevertheless, he persevered – in the last few days, he saw significant changes.
“Now, people are here [going to church], they are fed, we share stories, we shake hands and cuddles, and they are killing a day with a little food,” he said. . “I think things look brighter and have some degree of control.”
Concerned about the health of her baby and still frustrated by the official response, Strickling decided to leave the island on Monday, five days after the Irma hit. When she and her family leave, they are in a private ship in so doing, this is her affectionately nicknamed “Puerto Rico navy” part of a group of civilians – “civilian vessels, filled with a Puerto Rico citizens donated supplies, to help the people of San Diego. Thomas “.
“They were risking their lives to meet us,” she said, adding that the boat had no electricity or water on the boat home in Puerto Rico. However, he went out to help them.
“I don’t know better examples of human kindness than men and his crew.”
In the absence of services on Wednesday, a sign indicates that some residents of st. John’s coral bay are safe.
Rebecca osterland’s family of six is on vacation in st. Thomas – before the hurricane season. At this point, they left their reserved villa for a hotel in st John’s, which was built to withstand a hurricane.
Still, Emma threatened westin.
“The sound of the wind is like standing beside the jet engine, our ears to hit by bullet to come out from the pressure, when the wind, feeling all the air is sucked out of the room,” she told NPR in an email. “Westin was destroyed, but we are very grateful to be alive.”
But the days that followed gave residents more damage.
As the governor of the Max Planck Wednesday acknowledged, st. John’s “in addition to the standby power is 100% without power” – he said, adding that “we met with some security issues in st. John’s does.”
He told NPR’s Ari Shapiro said: “we have been busy in accumulation in st John’s safety equipment, make them get adequate protection, to provide relief supplies to our citizens, tarpaulins, water, food, medicines. “The bottom line is that we’ve got great help from our federal partners, but the U.S. virgin islands need help.”
Hannah Stein said it more bluntly. A Facebook post said she spoke to her mother, a st. John resident living in coral bay, on Wednesday, describing the situation.
“She said it was like a war zone,” Mr. Stein added. “They sleep with a knife by the bed, and they worry about their safety,” she says. “they don’t get anything.” ”
“At least,” stein added, “they’re independent.”
Last week, a group of survivors assessed the damage to the British virgin islands of tortola after hurricane Irma.
Paul eckner and his family continued to stay on tortola’s “semi-rural community in the bay of josiah” in the bombed house.
“We’re having insomnia, sleep deprivation and adrenaline,” Mr. Eckner wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. Some food stores are still open, he said, but the price is expensive, he says, clinics have been try my best to treat people, “because of glass blindness, shackles, bee stings, high blood pressure, deli jump, fall fractures (or in the case of a wind blows), and one for a gunshot wound in the head of thieves. ”
Even as residents struggle to regain their footing, another part of the island’s population has boomed in recent days: bedbugs.
“The insect population has exploded, and they are very angry and actively swarm people,” he said. “We are all equal on earth.”
Millions of crickets – “had never seen rare species, the size and scope of chromatography are small” – bees and jack Spanish wasps in the cruel make their playground damp debris after the storm, become bolder.
Ek, said he and a stationed on the island of the British commandos conversation, he points out, although some looting, omar province and some prisoners in Iraq – a was put down the fence to escape the beneficiaries of prison – the island’s security situation is coming.
Exner said he refused to take a private flight out of tortola on Tuesday.
“The British virgin islands are our home.”