Hurricane Irma Hits the Caribbean

September 6, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


This is bad. Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic hurricane since records have been kept, with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour, is already wreaking massive devastation on many small islands in the Caribbean. People are dying, with reports of at least eight as we write this. The prime minister of Barbuda says 95 percent of the island's structures are damaged or destroyed and the island is “literally rubble,” and “barely habitable.” Barbuda is isolated since the storm snapped a telecommunications tower in two. 

Footage from St. Martin shows cars flipped on their backs by powerful winds, others with their bumpers torn off; power has been out all day. Puerto Rico is still being pounded with wind and rain, but already 4,000 people have lost water service, and 300,000 have lost power. Puerto Rico has been squeezed for the last few years by the imperialist-imposed debt crisis and as a result its infrastructure is severely weakened. The government says that it may take months to restore electricity in some areas.

And the worst may be yet to come. Haiti and the Dominican Republic—two impoverished countries with more than 20 million people that share the island of Hispaniola—lie in Irma’s path. Haiti still has hundreds of thousands of homeless from the massive 2010 earthquake. Cuba, the Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands may also be hit.

And then from there it is likely to slam into Florida, much bigger and with stronger winds than Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which destroyed 65,000 homes, killed 43 people and snapped lampposts like matchsticks.

Reports from the Caribbean are still very sketchy because of power and phone outages. And hurricanes are notoriously difficult to predict with certainty, so we cannot say who will be hit or how badly. But one things we do know—as with Hurricanes Harvey, Katrina, Sandy, and Andrew and every other major natural disaster, Irma’s path of destruction is revealing and will further reveal the underlying oppressive relations of this system, its complete inability to meet the needs of the people, and its continued destruction of the environment of the planet we call home.

Keep watching this site for further reports.




Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.