Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island Destroyed by Hurricane Irma

Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island resort was destroyed by the devastating Hurricane Irma, but all those who rode out the storm along with the billionaire in the resort’s wine cellar are safe, according to a report posted Thursday morning on Virgin Limited Edition blog.

Bai Nettle beach in Marigot before the arrival of Hurricane Irma

A view of the Baie Nettle beach in Marigot, with the wind blowing ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 5, 2017. | Lionel Chamoiseau/AFP/Getty Images

“We are very grateful to be able to report that all of our team on Island have been accounted for as safe as well. Necker Island felt the effects of Hurricane Irma and sustained extensive damage, the extent of which we are still assessing,” read the blog entry, posted by “Harriet.”

Branson’s son Sam posted several updates, photos, and videos on Instagram, including one of a radar map, captioned, “Glad to say that all humans on Necker are ok although a lot of buildings destroyed 😞 Very concerned for our friends and everyone on the neighbouring islands and people in its path.”

Sam Branson also posted a video showing devastation on Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. He captioned the video with, “Warning: This video is quite traumatic. Tortola today after #hurricaneirma. Most buildings completely destroyed. Many left homeless. Beyond tragic. My deepest wishes go to all those affected. Still no news from Virgin Gorda.”

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, had revealed on Virgin.com yesterday his plans to stay on the island during the hurricane. “We are expecting to get the full force of the hurricane in around five hours’ time, when we will retreat to a concrete wine cellar under the Great House. Knowing our wonderful team as well as I do, I suspect there will be little wine left in the cellar when we all emerge.”

Richard Branson and Sam Branson

Richard Branson and his son Sam pose during the official launch of Virgin Atlantic’s round the world airfares at the Four Seasons Hotel on February 25, 2009, in Sydney, Australia. | Gaye Gerard/Getty Images

He also posted pictures on the website and Twitter of makeshift beds and himself playing dice with staff members.

While Irma roars across the Caribbean and possibly heads for the United States, there are two other hurricanes looming in the Atlantic. Tropical Storm Jose was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane. Jose is still in the open Atlantic but is heading toward islands already hit by Irma.

Katia is another Category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic and is expected to make landfall within the next two days in Veracruz, Mexico.

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