This Is What the British Virgin Islands Looks Like After Hurricane Irma

Sophie Miura

The British Virgin Islands is famous for startling azure water and some of the best sailing conditions in the Caribbean, but new photographs of the region show that Hurricane Irma has rendered it almost unrecognizable. One of its most famous residents, Richard Branson, took to Twitter to share photographs of his private Necker Island, as well as nearby Virgin Island Gorda and Puerto Rico.

Branson waited out the hurricane in his concrete wine cellar and emerged to find many of the buildings on his private island destroyed, Mashable reports. He emphasized that the "Irma story is not about Necker," but about the thousands of people who have been rocked by the natural disaster.

He also pointed out that Hurricane Irma should act as a reminder that climate change is real and needs to be addressed. "Man-made climate change is contributing to increasingly strong hurricanes causing unprecedented damage," he wrote on the Virgin website. "the whole world should be scrambling to get on top of the climate change issue before it is too late—for this generation, let alone the generations to come."

Branson used his Twitter feed as a call to action to implore followers to donate to the Red Cross. He cautioned that it's not over yet—Hurricane Jose is still on its way. 

Not sure how you can support the Hurricane Irma relief efforts? Start with these seven organizations.

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