As much of Florida is left flooded and without power from this weekend’s hurricane, the damage across much of the Caribbean goes well beyond water damage and downed power lines with many describing the devastation left by Irma as “end-of-the-world times.” As one resident of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands told the Washington Post, “it was beyond rough times, it was end-of-the-world times…everything normal to us has been destroyed.”
On St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, “people there are roaming like zombies,” said Stacey Alvarado, a bar owner who managed to leave for the mainland. Her husband, who is still there, told her Sunday that residents and tourists are in shock. “They don’t know what to do. The island was wiped out. It’s like the walking dead down there.” Other islanders sent social media messages pleading for help, decrying looting and a series of armed burglaries.
“We need help,” wrote St. John blogger Jenn Manes. “We need the United States government to step up. We need military. We need security.”
Lauren Boquette, a 48-year-old restaurant manager on St. John, said his family had barricaded themselves in the bathroom of their home. When they emerged, he said, they saw a scene of total destruction.
“It was beyond rough times, it was end-of-the-world times. Everything normal to us has been destroyed,” he said.
Some of the hardest-hit places were those in the Leeward Islands like St. Martin and St. Barts,
where 11 people have reportedly died.