Richard Branson Tweets Photo Of Braving Hurricane Irma
Virgin founder Richard Branson braved the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic as it hit his private island, Necker, in the Caribbean on Wednesday. The business tycoon had posted a blog Tuesday saying he would be on the island alongside his team, similar to previous hurricanes over the course of 30 years during which also he stayed at his island along with his team.
In the blog, he also expressed concern about the local people who stay in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). He also urged the islanders to go to hurricane shelters if possible instead of staying at home. He also mentioned about the local wildlife which includes flamingos, lemurs, scarlet ibis, and other species, praying they are not damaged during the upcoming hurricane.
While Irma hit the Necker Island at 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Branson's son said they survived the natural calamity by taking shelter in the wine cellar on Necker island, however, the storm destroyed a lot of the buildings, reports said.
Branson tweeted a photograph Wednesday comparing his stay at the cellar with that of a sleepover, which he used to have when he was a child.
On Tuesday, Branson tweeted a photo showing mattresses and other furniture lying inside a building. He also wrote that although facilities in his island are built in such a way so that they withstand hurricanes but Hurricane Irma was quite intense, hence the buildings have got damaged.
Branson wrote a blog Wednesday saying: "We have just experienced a night of howling wind and rain as Hurricane Irma edges ever closer towards us on Necker and the British Virgin Islands." He wrote that the strength of this hurricane was unheard of. The business magnate shared his experiences at the aftermath of the storm.
"The atmosphere is eerie but beautiful. Everyone is willing the eye of the storm to veer away from the BVI in these last few hours. As I wrote yesterday, our main concern is safety, for everyone here and for all the people in the BVI and in the path of the hurricane. We were listening to the parrots in their boxes in the next room chattering away. Watching the tortoises congregating together as if they sense what is coming our way."
Branson's son, Sam also posted a map showing how close Irma was to their island. “Glad to say that all humans on Necker are ok although a lot of buildings destroyed,” Sam wrote on Instagram.
“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.
Branson is known for being adventurous; in 2012, he became the oldest person to do kite surfing in the English Channel. He has also expressed his desire of being on the first Virgin Galactic flight into suborbital space, CNN Money reported.
Branson purchased Necker Island for $180,000 in 1979 and later also opened a luxury resort there, which has often been visited by celebrities. In January, after former President Barack Obama left his office, he visited the private island along with his wife Michelle and many photographs of Branson and the Obamas surfaced on social media where it was visible that the former first couple was having a whale of a time.