With Hurricane Irma on its way toward Florida, islands in the Caribbean began to assess the damage. Many residents and tourists were left reeling after the storm ravaged some of the world's most exclusive tropical playgrounds, known for their turquoise waters and lush green vegetation. Among them: St. Martin, St. Barts, St. Thomas, Barbuda, and Anguilla, per the AP. Irma smashed homes, shops, roads, and schools; knocked out power, water, and telephone service; trapped thousands of tourists; and stripped trees of their leaves, leaving an eerie, blasted-looking landscape littered with sheet metal and splintered lumber.
Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the eastern part of Cuba reported no major casualties or damage by mid-afternoon Friday after Irma rolled north of the Caribbean's biggest islands. Meanwhile, many of Irma's victims fled their islands on ferries and fishing boats for fear of Hurricane Jose, a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds that could punish some places all over again this weekend. The dead included 11 on St. Martin and St. Barts, four in the US Virgin Islands, four in the British Virgin Islands, and one each on Anguilla and Barbuda.