Barbuda, a Caribbean island of 1,700 residents, is now deserted by Hurricane Irma. Ronald Sanders, the Antigua and Barbuda ambassador to the United States said, "For the first time in 300 years, there's not a single living person on the island of Barbuda -- a civilization that has existed in that island for close to, over 300 years has now been extinguished."
Barbuda's infrastructure — the power grid, the phone lines and the water treatment plant — is devastated, and its residents are scattered across Antigua, its sister island. Barbuda, the sister island of Antigua is located 28 miles to the north. It can be reached in 15 minutes by air or by a catamaran cruiser. This beautiful island is 62 sq miles or 14 miles by 8 miles in size, with a population of over 1500 people. The island is flat with the highest point being 125 feet. Being so close to Barbuda, Antigua almost entirely escaped damage from the storm. The government says Antigua is 100 percent operational.
The government intends to rebuild the island, which will take time. International humanitarian help is needed in the "mammoth task," Sanders said, adding that the small island community can't rebuild without such assistance. Prominent voices, such as actor Robert de Niro, are urging help for the island.