Irma looters armed with machetes in US Virgin Islands

Irma looters armed with machetes in US Virgin Islands

At least four people were reported killed on four different Caribbean islands by Irma, which weather forecasters have described as a "potentially catastrophic" Category 5 storm, the highest U.S. classification for hurricanes.

Richard Branson at the Burj Al Arab on the day the inaugural Virgin Atlantic flight from London's Heathrow arrived at Dubai International Airport on March 28, 2006 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

To the east, in the Leeward Islands known as the playground for the rich and famous, governments came under criticism for failing to respond quickly to the hurricane, which flattened many towns and turned lush, green hills to a brown stubble.

Cotton, who grew up in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands and whose family is from Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, posted the campaign on Sunday in the hopes he can help people recover from the devastation experienced from the damaging storm. Launched in 1948, the aid effort concluded in 1952. "It is clear to me creating jobs is paramount - there will be a huge amount of rebuilding to be done and people will need work to help rebuild their lives as well as their homes", Branson said in his blog. Branson is an investor in a number of Southern California technology companies, including Virgin Galactic and Ring.

That includes Richard Branson's private island.

No tweets, no Instagrams, no updates on Branson's blog - nothing.

"Governments - the United Kingdom in the British Virgin Islands, the US in the US Virgin Islands - need to do all they can to help people here who have lost their homes and in many cases will have lost their livelihoods after the storm", Branson wrote in his blog.

Becky Guile and her partner Dean
Becky Guile and her partner Dean

Branson added that the Hurricane points to the damaging effects of climate change, and said more must be done to prevent further similar disasters.

"We took shelter from the strongest hurricane ever inside the concrete cellar on Necker and very, very fortunately it held firm", the billionaire wrote.

Residents woke up Saturday morning to see whole houses destroyed, and roofs ripped off warehouses.

"Outside of the bunker, bathroom and bedroom doors and windows have flown 40 feet away".

"We had some lovely guests staying on Necker Island, who have cut their trip short for safety reasons, and another group of guests have also postponed", Branson writes in a statement on the Virgin Group website. "Knowing our wonderful team as I do, I suspect there will be little wine left in the cellar when we all emerge".

Branson is the 324th wealthiest person in the world, with a net worth of about US$5 billion, according to Forbes, which notes that he bought Necker Island for US$180,000.

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