By the time Hurricane Irma slammed into Florida’s southwest coast on Sunday, triggering one of the largest evacuation orders in American history, several Caribbean islands had already borne the brunt of the hurricane’s devastation when it was a far deadlier and more powerful Category 5 storm.
Irma ripped through Saint Martin, St. Barts, Anguilla and Barbuda, as well as the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, killing dozens of people and leaving thousands more homeless.
Barbuda was particularly hard-hit by the storm, with an estimated 90 percent of its structures suffering damage or destruction. Prime Minister Gaston Browne said the island was “literally under water,” making it “barely habitable” in Irma’s wake. Half the population is now homeless, he told the BBC.
In Saint Martin, which is partially French and partially Dutch, Irma wrought “enormous devastation,” according to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Many island residents have been left without food and clean water as they struggle to rebuild.
Turks and Caicos, a British overseas territory southeast of the Bahamas, also endured widespread power outages and severe infrastructural damage from strong winds and floodwaters.
The following graphics offer a bird’s-eye view of many of these islands, before and after they were ravaged by Hurricane Irma.