After the near-annihilation of tiny Barbuda by Hurricane Irma, its 1,700 evacuated residents took shelter on its sister island of Antigua, hunkering down in government buildings and residential homes as Hurricane Jose approached. But the island nation caught a lucky break as Jose turned and missed both islands, Sir Ronald Sanders, ambassador to the United States from Antigua and Barbuda, said Saturday. Not that a hit on Barbuda could have done much more damage on the now-desolate island.
Updated surveys had indicated that nearly 100 of its buildings had been damaged or destroyed, Sanders said.
“Jose would have only added to the debris,” he said. “There’s no one there now. It’s like a scene from winter without snow. No grass. No trees. It is just rubble. We now have refugees from Barbuda in Antigua, and will have to sustain their lives for months, probably years, as we rebuild.”
The powerful tropical cyclone, which was barreling northwest toward the Caribbean islands already hammered by Irma, has weakened within the past 12 hours but remains a dangerous Category 4 storm, officials said. Jose’s maximum sustained wind speed is at 145 mph, as the storm is expected to pass north of the northern Leeward Islands later on Saturday. That’s down by 10 mph from late Friday, when officials said the hurricane was just shy of a Category 5 storm....MORE
I thought we had posted a picture of hurricane Irma passing over Barbuda but it got lost in the shuffle. Here's a better image than the one we had, Barbuda is in the eye:Hurricane #Jose will thankfully miss #Antigua and #Barbuda. Max sustained winds are at 145 MPH. Moving NW at 14 MPH. #GOES16 pic.twitter.com/8z1cDNRccA— NASA SPoRT (@NASA_SPoRT) September 9, 2017
Antigua is the island due south of the eye. NASA via PhysOrg. Obsessive readers may remember this line from Wednesday's "Hurricane Irma: After Hours of Radio Silence Antigua and Barbuda Have Been Heard From";
...This is the windspeed/pressure table at the little automatic weather station on Barbuda.It blew away.
There is some confusion as to whether the anemometer measuring the wind went to calm because of the the eye of the storm passing over or because the station blew away....
But lasted through the eye of the storm!