The unfinished Church in St. George’s, Bermuda
Image courtesy of @Bermuda
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) which makes up part of the Virgin Islands Archipelago, sits east of Puerto Rico, in the Lesser Antilles. The main islands that make up the territory are Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda, and Jost Van Dyke. The capital, Road Town is on Tortola, and has more than half of the population residing there which is around 30,000 people according to United Nations.
Like many of the Caribbean islands, the BVI was settled by the Arawaks and Caribs from South America and then by Europeans in the 1400’s. Christopher Columbus named the island Santa Ursula y las Once Mil Vírgenes (Saint Ursula and her 11,000 Virgins), which was shortened to The Virgins (for obvious reasons)
Over the years the Dutch, Spanish and British left their influences including introducing sugarcane and slavery, becoming prosperous until a series of hurricanes damaged crops, and alternative crops being grown in Europe led to economic decline for the islands.
The British Virgin Islands were administered as part of the British Leeward Islands, with an administrator representing the British Government on the islands. The islands gained separate colony status in 1960 and became autonomous in 1967. The islands have moved from their agriculture-based economy towards tourism and finance, becoming one of the wealthiest areas in the Caribbean!
On the 6th of September 2017, Hurricane Irma hit the islands forcing the Governor to declare a state of emergency, a first for the territory. Many homes, businesses, and boats were destroyed.
So much debris was deposited throughout the territory that it was said to be a years worth dumped not knowing where all that debris will go. 90% of the island’s charter fleet was damaged.
The caribbean is used to hurricanes but not this kind of intensity and damage. I pray for all of our neighbours who experienced Irma’s unforgiveness.
Image courtesy of Proud Jamaicans