The island of Barbuda — where nearly all buildings were reduced “to rubble,” according to Prime Minister Gaston Browne — braced for new hardship, in the form of Hurricane José. The storm charged toward the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda and neighboring islands. Antigua and Barbuda’s attorney general and minister of public safety, Steadroy Benjamin, issued a mandatory evacuation order for Barbuda, meaning every citizen will be transported to Antigua.
José is expected to make landfall on Saturday, bringing winds of up to 125 m.p.h. to the islands, threatening those whose homes were lost or damaged by the earlier storm.
“I actually was just visiting family in Barbuda. I’m from New York,” Teline Charles, 33, said. “I never experienced anything like that. The roof came off during the storm and we actually had to leave the house and run into the car until the eye came and then ran for better shelter.”
The islands of St. Martin, St. Barthélemy and Anguilla, which were also battered by Irma, were also under a hurricane watch for José.
John McKendrick, the attorney general of Anguilla, said on Thursday that the island had suffered “huge devastation” from the first storm.
Up to 90 percent of the homes on the island were damaged, fallen trees blocked many roads, cellphone service was interrupted and electrical service was cut. The entire island was still without power midday Thursday, he said.
In addition, the ports and the airport remained closed because of damage. St. Martin was dealing with a similar level of devastation.
Other parts of the Caribbean that braced for Irma’s wrath were bypassed by the worst of the storm, including the Dominican Republic and Haiti, which share the island of Hispaniola. Damage from flooding and power outages was reported on the Haitian side. Three people were killed in Puerto Rico, and around two-thirds of the population lost electricity, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said.
Cuba started evacuating some of the 51,000 tourists visiting the island, particularly 36,000 people at resorts on the northern coast.
The storm also severely devastated a U.S. territory.
In the United States Virgin Islands, the hurricane caused the deaths of four people, tore the roofs off many homes and businesses, knocked down power lines, flooded two shelters and caused “catastrophic failures” at the Roy Lester Schneider Hospital.
Tom Price, the health and human services secretary, said Friday that the hospital was closing and its patients were being transported to facilities on other islands.
As of Friday, the full impact — particularly on the islands of St. Thomas and St. John — was still being assessed, but officials confirmed that at least four people had died.
President Trump declared a disaster in the United States Virgin Islands, freeing up federal aid to the territory.
After criticism of its efforts, The U.K. mobilizes aid.
Several of the places hit hardest by the storm are territories of Britain, France or the Netherlands, and the British government has been accused of providing a lackluster response to the crisis, particularly compared with the responses of the French and Dutch governments.
In response, Boris Johnson, Britain’s foreign secretary, announced on Friday an aid package of 32 million pounds, or about $42 million and said that British troops, diplomats and aid workers were en route. An amphibious warship, the Mounts Bay, will be moving from Anguilla to the British Virgin Islands to distribute aid there, he said. An amphibious assault ship, the Ocean, has also been deployed to the region.
The king of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, will fly to the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao on Sunday to inspect the coordination of relief efforts for the Dutch side of St. Martin, the palace announced on Friday.
The E.P.A. chief says that talk of climate change is ‘insensitive.’
Discussing climate change as Irma batters the Caribbean is “insensitive,” Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, said Thursday night.
Speaking to CNN, Mr. Pruitt said the agency’s focus was on helping people in Florida and elsewhere prepare and protect themselves by ensuring people have access to clean water and fuel. He did not comment on whether he believes warming global temperatures are worsening the impact of storms, as scientists say is happening. But he asserted that now is not the time for that discussion.
“To have any kind of focus on the cause and effect of the storm; versus helping people, or actually facing the effect of the storm, is misplaced,” Mr. Pruitt said, adding, “to use time and effort to address it at this point is very, very insensitive to this people in Florida.”
Mr. Pruitt made similar comments in the midst of Hurricane Harvey, which wreaked havoc last week along the Texas coast.
The death toll rises in the French Caribbean.
France’s interior minister, Gérard Collomb, said on Friday at a news conference in Paris that at least nine people had been killed by Hurricane Irma on the French islands of Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy, up from a previous toll of 4.
Seven people were missing and 112 were wounded, Mr. Collomb added. He said that the priority was still to rescue people, but also to re-establish order, after witnesses on the islands reported sporadic looting.
Mr. Collomb said that power on Saint Barthélemy was close to being restored and that on Saint Martin the hospital and town hall now had electricity.
Mr. Collomb said that José would hit Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy over the weekend, complicating rescue operations there.
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