Hurricane Irma and the stress and anxiety we experience — THE THERAPY ROOM

UK army helicopter

UK army helicopter

On Sept. 5 local time, Hurricane Irma hit the island of Barbuda, destroying 90 percent of buildings, cutting water and power supplies and leading to many casualties and huge property losses.

"The Digicel team is ready and able".

Evacuees, including 500 children, were sent to Antigua, and were living in cramped government quarters and nursing homes, which Sanders said was "unacceptable".

"I'm pleased to report that our mobile network in Antigua and Anguilla are already back to pre-Irma usage levels".

The Barbudan people have been living on the island of #Barbuda for 300 years, but after the 378-mile-wide #Hurricane Irma tore through the 62-square-mile island, "the damage is complete", according to Ronald Sanders, the USA ambassador to the nation of Antigua and Barbuda.

"So that is the best way that you can help Barbuda, is by taking a vacation and coming to Antigua", said Asot Michael, tourism minister of Antigua and Barbuda.

Mary Beth Medley, who lived in Barbuda for years and is heading up Nobu's Paradise Found development, said they plan to offer a job to "every Barbudan that's willing to work".

Terry Somerville, left, and Bishop Charlesworth Browne, centre, with the program host of the Good Morning Antigua Barbuda TV show which Somerville appeared on during his time in the Caribbean country.

Sanders says the world must step up and help Barbuda. An estimated 95 per cent of Barbuda's structures were damaged or destroyed by the storm, including the island's sole hospital, airport, and its schools. The government of Suriname through the National Disaster Management Office is also sending four officers to St Maarten to assist in identifying Caribbean nationals who are now said to be stranded in the Dutch-speaking territory.

"We are a small island community - the gross domestic product of Antigua is $US1 billion ($1.2 billion) a year", Sanders explained.

'The island and the people on the island had absolutely no chance, ' Mr Sanders added.

"We've had most of the people we've brought over to Antigua in shelters". Of course, others helped - initially the Red Cross and then the emergency services of a few countries and hemispheric agencies. Therefore, preparations will have to include stockpiling food, water, medicines and other essentials long before storms arrive on their shores. The cost of rebuilding Barbuda could be as much as $300 million, according to Antigua and Barbuda's Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

"Lush green tropical vegetation can be ripped away by a storm's strong winds, leaving the satellite with a view of more bare ground". But they will remain there for the foreseeable future as Barbuda faces a "mammoth task" to rebuild. "We can not cope with our own resources alone". It's just launched its own fundraiser to help with whatever the people of Barbuda need.