Richard Branson opted to ride out the storm Hurricane Irma on his private island — though Necker was in the path of one of the most powerful storms in history, a category 5 with 185-mile-per-hour winds. The billionaire hunkered in a concrete wine cellar on the island, in a slumber-party-like atmosphere with Virgin Group staffers.
Fortunately, thanks to the sturdiness of that structure, all people on the island remained safe. Unfortunately, most of the buildings were destroyed.
Richard’s son Sam provided the update on social media, posting: “Glad to say that all humans on Necker are ok although a lot of buildings destroyed. Very concerned for our friends and everyone on the neighbouring islands and people in its path.” He posted the comments on Instagram alongside an image of Irma.
And he offered strong warning to anyone else in its path: “Please don’t take this hurricane lightly if it is heading your way. If your building is not very solid, do find somewhere safe! Homes can be rebuilt but lives can’t.”
Even in the face of destruction, Sam infused his safety message with one of social change: “Nature warning us again of the impact of #climatechange We must all do more to combat this."
For context, he also shared some other images demonstrating the storm's wrath in the British Virgin Islands.
To help those affected by Hurricane Irma go to redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word IRMA to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
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