‘Total carnage’: Luxury yachts wrecked and beach front homes smashed to pieces as Irma wipes out TWO Caribbean islands destroying 95 per cent of Barbuda and St Martin, killing at least ten

  • ‘Monster’ Hurricane Irma started hammering Puerto Rico with 185mph winds and heavy rain late last night
  • The category 5 storm reduced Caribbean islands of Barbuda and St Martin to rubble with deadly destruction
  • Roughly 95%  of homes and properties were destroyed on both islands with Barbuda now ‘barely habitable’
  • At least six people died on the French part of St Martin, while a two-year-old child was killed in Barbuda
  • Some 900,000 people are without power on Puerto Rico and at least 50,000 people are without water
  • Irma was following a projected path that would see it hit the Dominican Republic and Haiti on Thursday
  • The hurricane is expected to continue past eastern Cuba before veering north for Florida at the weekend
  • Red Cross said it is preparing for ‘a major humanitarian response’ as UN estimated 37million will be affected
  • Mandatory evacuations were ordered in the Florida Keys and parts of Miami as the scale of the storm emerged

Hurricane Irma howled past Puerto Rico with 185mph winds after reducing the tiny tropical islands of Barbuda and St Martin to rubble and claiming at least ten lives.

The category 5 storm – the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic – left a trail of deadly devastation through the Caribbean when it struck on Wednesday on a potential collision course with south Florida.

Barbuda and St Martin suffered the storm’s full fury with roughly 95 per cent of properties destroyed on both islands. Officials said at least eight people died on the French part of St Martin – a pristine resort known for its vibrant nightlife.

‘It’s an enormous catastrophe. Ninety-five percent of the island is destroyed,’ top local official Daniel Gibbs said. ‘I’m in shock. It’s frightening.’

The island, which is divided between the Netherlands and France, was left without drinking water or electricity and the death toll is expected to rise.

Barbuda, part of the twin island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, also suffered ‘absolute devastation’ and is ‘barely habitable’ with more than 90 per cent of dwellings completely destroyed, a child killed and 60 per cent of the population left homeless.

Meanwhile, residents on the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla said the island was ‘utterly devastated’ and looked as though it had ‘suffered nuclear bomb devastation’.

The core was expected to scrape the northern coast of the Dominican Republic and Haiti on Thursday and track near Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas later. It is likely to be downgraded to a Category 4 storm by the time it makes landfall in Florida, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Thursday.

This morning, the United Nations said up to 49 million people are in the hurricane’s path as aid agencies prepare for a ‘major humanitarian response’.

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Hurricane Irma destroyed 90 percent of the tiny island of Barbuda (above) when it made landfall early on Wednesday. The Caribbean island was reduced to rubble, according to its Prime Minister Gaston Browne

Hurricane Irma destroyed 90 percent of the tiny island of Barbuda (above) when it made landfall early on Wednesday. The Caribbean island was reduced to rubble, according to its Prime Minister Gaston Browne

An aerial photography taken and released by the Dutch department of Defense shows the damage of Hurricane Irma in Philipsburg, on the Dutch Caribbean island of Sint Maarten

An aerial photography taken and released by the Dutch department of Defense shows the damage of Hurricane Irma in Philipsburg, on the Dutch Caribbean island of Sint Maarten

Devastation: This was the scene on Saint-Barth after the hurricane hit. French President Emmanuel Macron said he expects that victims and heavy damage will be discovered on the island

Devastation: This was the scene on Saint-Barth after the hurricane hit. French President Emmanuel Macron said he expects that victims and heavy damage will be discovered on the island

This was the bizarre scene along the coast of Saint Martin after roofs were torn off houses and blown off in to the streets

This was the bizarre scene along the coast of Saint Martin after roofs were torn off houses and blown off in to the streets

Dramatic pictures have emerged on social media showing the scale of the flooding on the island St Martin in the immediate aftermath of the storm passing

Dramatic pictures have emerged on social media showing the scale of the flooding on the island St Martin in the immediate aftermath of the storm passing

Irma passed to the north of Puerto Rico late on Wednesday night lashing it with heavy rain and powerful winds. Rescue crews are pictured above investigating a flooded car in Fajardo, Puerto Rico

Irma passed to the north of Puerto Rico late on Wednesday night lashing it with heavy rain and powerful winds. Rescue crews are pictured above investigating a flooded car in Fajardo, Puerto Rico

Boats piled up as the eye of Hurricane Irma passed over Tortola in British Virgin Islands on Wednesday

Boats piled up as the eye of Hurricane Irma passed over Tortola in British Virgin Islands on Wednesday

Luxury homes and hotels were destroyed, roads submerged in water and sturdy palm trees ripped out of the ground on the Dutch Caribbean island of Sint Marteen

Luxury homes and hotels were destroyed, roads submerged in water and sturdy palm trees ripped out of the ground on the Dutch Caribbean island of Sint Marteen

Shipping containers were left strewn around a port area at Sint Marteen while homes and hotels were left in ruins

Shipping containers were left strewn around a port area at Sint Marteen while homes and hotels were left in ruins

Hurricane Irma has ripped through Caribbean islands on a path towards the US. A second hurricane, Jose, is developing in the Atlantic

Hurricane Irma has ripped through Caribbean islands on a path towards the US. A second hurricane, Jose, is developing in the Atlantic