Aerial footage taken Thursday showed the devastation that Irma caused on the island of St. Martin. At least nine people were killed by the storm in the Caribbean. Many Florida residents are traveling north ahead of the storm’s arrival.

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The extent of Hurricane Irma’s damage in the Caribbean was discovered Thursday. Aerial footage of St. Martin shows thousands of destroyed houses, flooded neighborhoods and chaos in the streets. So far, nine people have been killed by the storm. In Florida, hundreds of thousands of residents are traveling north, hoping to escape the effects of the storm, which is causing heavy traffic jams.  

The Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry announced today that it has been unable to establish contact with four Israelis in St. Martin. However, the ministry clarified that the communication networks on the island are still not working properly and this is likely the reason they have not been reached.   

Damage caused by Irma

Damage caused by Irma Photo Credit: CNN/Channel 2 News

Earlier today, the UN warned that up to 37 million people could be affected by Irma. According to Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne, the storm destroyed government buildings, ripped off the roofs of houses and left the islands without electricity and communication networks. He added that 95% of the buildings in Barbuda were flattened by Irma and about 60% of the residents are currently homeless.

In many countries that are in the projected path of Irma, such as the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, a state of emergency has been declared. Residents have been instructed to head to hurricane shelters and stock up on vital supplies such as drinking water.

There are two other hurricanes in the region at the moment. Hurricane Jose is further east than Irma and US officials are currently not concerned about it being an immediate threat to the mainland, though its path could change. Meanwhile, Hurricane Katia is developing in the Gulf of Mexico.