Hurricane Irma brings destruction to Caribbean
According to a report by the BBC today, the island of Barbuda is described as “barely habitable”.
Antigua, with a population of 80,000, escaped major damage, with no loss of life. Officials in the French territory of St Martin say it is almost destroyed and Anguilla was also caught in the storm.
Officials have confirmed at least eight deaths and considerable damage in the French territories of St-Martin and Saint Barthélemy, (St Barts).
In the US territory of Puerto Rico, through which Hurricane Irma has been passing, more than half the island’s three million residents are without power.
A state of emergency had been declared for Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Officials started evacuations of tourists and residents of Florida Keys.
Flights to and from several airports in Florida were being suspended, the BBC report said, while Orlando’s international airport said that commercial flights would stop from 17:00 local time on Saturday.
The grade 5 hurricane, which is – the highest possible – continues through the Caribbean. It has brought wind speeds of 295km/h (185mph) and could hit Florida on Sunday.
Air Canada operates 24 extra flights for customers impacted by Hurricane Irma
In response to Hurricane Irma, Air Canada is operating a total of 24 additional flights to bring customers home early from the Dominican Republic (Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Samana), Florida (Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Orlando), Cuba (Varadero, Holguin, Havana and Cayo Coco), Antigua and Providenciales, as well as larger aircraft with more seats for flights from the region, including Havana and Nassau.
With these additional flights and larger aircraft, the airline will have flown over 6,000 seats northbound in addition to its regular schedule over the three-day period from Tuesday September 5 to Thursday September 7.
In addition, it has implemented a goodwill policy for customers whose itinerary includes a flight impacted by the path of the hurricane.
For customers whose travel is affected, they can contact Air Canada Reservations to change flights free of charge.