Seven days after Hurricane Irma devastated two of the three major U.S. Virgin Islands, access to communication lines and critical supplies remain spotty and residents still don’t know how long recovery will take or what it will cost.
The islands, typically thought of as lush tourist getaways in the Caribbean, have been turned brown. Many of the islands’ approximately 100,000 residents say the Category 5 storm was unlike anything they’ve weathered before. Irma is responsible for at least 38 confirmed deaths across the Caribbean, four of them in the U.S. territories. The storm’s 185 mile-per-hour winds and water stripped away plant life across the entirety of St. John and St. Thomas and, according to USVI Gov. Kenneth Mapp, left well over 50 percent of properties destroyed.
VICE News spent time with residents who have almost nothing left.
This segment of VICE News Tonight originally aired Sept. 13, 2017, on HBO.