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Richard Branson Defies Irma From Wine Cellar in Caribbean

Image: Richard Branson Defies Irma From Wine Cellar in Caribbean
Scene of Irma destruction in Bahama Virgin Islands. (screengrab from Sam Branson Instagram post)

By    |   Thursday, 07 September 2017 09:23 AM

Richard Branson defied Hurricane Irma from his Caribbean retreat on his private Necker Island and emerged from his wine cellar to find massive destruction around him, according to The Sun newspaper on Thursday.

Hurricane Irma roared through the British Virgin Islands as a Category 5 hurricane, leaving many tourists to retreat from the tropical paradise. The Virgin Airlines entrepreneur, though, issued a statement earlier in th week saying that he was staying put with his staff.

"On Necker Island we have constructed really strong buildings (with hurricane blinds) that should be able to handle extreme weather pretty well, though with a Category 5 hurricane almost nothing can withstand it," Branson said.

"We had some lovely guests staying on Necker Island who have cut their trip short for safety reasons, and another group of guests have also postponed. I will be on Necker alongside our team, as I have been on the three times we have had hurricanes over the past 30 years."

Branson shared a photo of him and his staff battening down for Irma on Twitter Wednesday morning.

"Our main concern is with the local people of the BVI," Branson said in his statement. "For anyone who could be affected by the hurricane, please make sure you are as prepared as possible. In the past, many British Virgin Islanders have shrugged off hurricanes, stayed at home and not gone to shelters. This time the BVI Government and the BVI Tourist board have been very active and providing advice to the local population."

On Thursday, Branson's son, Sam Branson, took a video and photos of the devastation Irma left behind on the island, but added that there were no reported deaths, according to The Sun.

A post shared by Sam Branson (@bransonsam) on

"Most buildings completely destroyed," Sam Branson wrote in the Instagram caption. "Many left homeless. Beyond tragic. My deepest wishes go to all those affected," he wrote in the video's caption. He added that there were "lots of damage" to Branson's retreat, but added that "homes can be rebuilt but lives can't."

A post shared by Sam Branson (@bransonsam) on

Sam Branson added: "Very concerned for our friends and everyone on the neighboring islands and people 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."

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Richard Branson defied Hurricane Irma from his Caribbean retreat on his private Necker Island and emerged from his wine cellar to find massive destruction around him.
richard branson, defies, irma, wine cellar, saribbean
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2017-23-07
Thursday, 07 September 2017 09:23 AM
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