Opposition Leader Julian Fraser said he believes the BVI failed to adequately prepare for the magnitude of Hurricane Irma’s back in 2017.
The Third District Representative expressed this belief in a reflection posted on the government’s Facebook
page in observance of the fifth anniversary of the hurricane’s passage.
An architect by profession, Fraser said the level of damage done following Irma’s strike was a misrepresentation of the true capabilities of the territory’s building construction standards.
“Essentially, we lost roofs because windows were either blown out by wind, or by flying objects. And those windows were lost because they simply weren’t protected. There should never be a next time,” Fraser stated.
The veteran legislator further noted that those who have experienced the wrath of Hurricane Irma, have been horrified to the point where it remains without question the most memorable moment of their lives.
Fraser said even though, for the time being, physical scars still remain on the territory’s landscape, there is no doubt that they will all go away, at some point.
According to Fraser, however, the emotional and psychological damage will forever be a part of the people of the BVI.
Meanwhile, Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley chose to look back on the indomitable spirit and resilience of the people of the BVI in the aftermath of the hurricane.
“With our limited resources, some help from neighbours and friends, and our strength that comes from our faith in our God, we cleaned up the debris, restored vital infrastructure, and started rebuilding our homes and our lives,” the Premier said.
He added: “The greatest lesson we can take from this experience is that with trust in God, the support of our partners, and belief in ourselves, we, the people of the Virgin Islands
, can triumph over anything — and we emerge stronger from every challenge that confronts us.”
Hurricane Irma – a category five storm with sustained winds of 180 mph – left four persons dead in its wake and caused widespread destruction in the territory.
According to a preliminary impact report by the government, the aftermath of the hurricane saw an estimated $3.6 billion in infrastructure damage to the territory and its environs.