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  1. ITV Report

Local fundraising efforts to help after devastation of Irma

  • Click to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Hannah Pettifer

The island of Barbuda has been described as being reduced to rubble after Hurricane Irma swept through last week.

For Alice Bolton, the scenes of devastation were particularly painful to see as she has two cousins living there, who she grew up with around Elmswell near Bury St Edmunds.

She is now fundraising to help those affected on the island and hoping to go out there herself as part of the relief effort.

Hurricane Irma left a trail of destructions across a string of Caribbean islands. Credit: ITV News

Alice is now asking for donations from the local community - tools, nails, wood, generators - to send over to Barbuda to help the island start rebuilding.

She hopes the donations will eventually fill up two shipping containers.

"That's the kind of thing I think that will be needed to do temporary repairs on houses.

"Most things that have gone are roofs of buildings so if they can have sheets of wood that can instantly patch up a roof then they've got a roof to start to rebuild from the inside without everything getting constantly wet."

– Alice Bolton
Relief supplies are arriving in Barbuda where half the population has been left homeless. Credit: ITV News

Hurricane Irma tore through the island last week, destroying 90% of its buildings and leaving around half of Barbuda's population of 1,600 homeless.

The national repair and reconstruction bill has been estimated to be around $150 million.

Alice's family has also set up a fundraising page online which has reached almost £20,000.

The cost of repairs and reconstruction on Barbuda are expected to reach $150m. Credit: ITV News

These are the items that the family would like donated:

  • hand tools
  • buckets/wheelbarrows
  • tarpaulins
  • heavy duty plastic sheeting
  • screws, nails, bolts, hinges
  • generators
  • drills and screwdrivers
  • galvanised sheeting
Alice Bolton and her family are collecting donated items to help the relief effort in the Caribbean. Credit: ITV News Anglia

According to the British government, more than 60 tonnes of UK aid has now reached the Caribbean to support the victims of Hurricane Irma, with another 60 tonnes on the way on board HMS Ocean.

British military troops along with Department for International Development logisticians supported the restoration of electricity to the main power station on the British Virgin Islands as part of the ongoing recovery operation.

Six UK medical health experts have been deployed to Antigua to assess the capacity of healthcare provisions on affected islands in the region.

Hurricane Irma tore through the island of Barbuda destroying 90% of its buildings. Credit: ITV News

“The Government has been working non-stop to get vital assistance to the victims of Hurricane Irma in the last week.

“Aid continues to arrive on the affected islands on a daily basis, and we’ll continue to do all that is needed to get people back on their feet.

“We are also looking at long-term recovery on the islands. We want to get families back into houses, and schools and hospitals working again as soon as possible.”

– Priti Patel MP, International Development Secretary