Survivors of Irma beg for aid and face armed looters as they brace for Jose
Panic grows in Florida as extent of devastation across Caribbean emerges, with buildings flattened and 20 dead
Survivors on Caribbean islands shattered by Hurricane Irma begged the world for food, water, shelter and rescue on Saturday as they faced down armed looters and the prospect of a fresh onslaught from strengthening Hurricane Jose.
In Florida, panic grew as Irma approached. City streets emptied, the skies over the state were quiet after airports closed and those who chose to defy evacuation orders bunkered down for the coming fury.
They have endured a days-long preview of the storm’s ferocity as it crashed into homes, hospitals, schools and airports across the Caribbean, wiping out buildings and infrastructure and claiming 20 lives already, a toll that is almost certain to rise.
The British Virgin Islands declared a state of emergency and brought in a curfew to deal with devastating destruction; there were reports of looting in Franco-Dutch St Martin, one of the first places hit. In many of the islands that took the full force, most homes were damaged or destroyed.
Nick Cunha, a publisher who lives on Tortola, was in one of the houses picked apart by the storm. He had taken shelter with friends who thought their home was stormproof; in fact, the five adu