Hurricane Jose Grows, Threatens Islands Damaged By Irma (Photos)

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Hurricane Irma has cost several people in the Caribbean islands their homes and their lives. As citizens pick up the pieces in the hurricane's wake, they might still have to worry about another storm brewing in the Atlantic.

The National Hurricane Center upgraded Hurricane Jose to a Category 3 hurricane on Sept. 7, The Washington Post reports.

Irma is believed to have killed at least 10 people in the Caribbean, and the death toll continues to rise. Despite being two categories weaker than Irma, the death toll is expected to increase if Jose hits any of the islands.

Irma has already damaged Barbuda, Antigua and Puerto Rico among others in the Leeward and Virgin Islands. It is expected to pass over the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Turks and Caicos before it reaches the Bahamas and Florida.

Of the islands that lie in the Irma's path, Barbuda -- a small island of 2,000 people -- was hit especially hard.

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Hurricane Irma destroyed 90 percent of Barbuda's buildings and left 60 percent of its population homeless, according to Barbuda and Antigua's Prime Minister Gaston Browne, The Weather Channel reports.

"Barbuda right now is literally a rubble," said Browne to The Washington Post on Sept. 7. "We are very worried about Hurricane Jose."

Browne will decide by the night of Sept. 7 whether to evacuate the islands ahead of Jose's potential landfall. He noted that some people from Barbuda are being ferried to Antigua, which was significantly less impacted by Irma.

Elsewhere, more than 2,500 individuals had to evacuate the Dominican Republic after a landslide on the Samana Peninsula, The Associated Press reports. About 500 tourists were moved into shelters on the island.

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Also devastated by Irma was the French islands of St. Barts and St. Martin.

Irma tore off roofs, flooded streets and shorted electricity on the islands. French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said 100,000 food rations were sent to the islands, which should sustain them for four days.

"It’s a tragedy," Collomb said. "We’ll need to rebuild both islands. Most of the schools have been destroyed."

The local government in the British West Indies island of Anguilla is "overwhelmed." Anguilla Attorney General John McKendrick told The Washington Post on Sept. 6 that most response teams had to rely on instant messaging for communication since phone lines were down.

"Roads blocked, hospital damaged," McKendrick wrote in one brief message. "Power down. Communications badly impaired. Help needed."

He warned in another message: "More people might die without further help, especially as another hurricane threatens us so soon."

While donations may not cover all reconstruction expenses, several nations have already pledged assistance to hurricane-stricken countries for relief efforts. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged $41 million.

Sources: The Washington Post, The Weather Channel, AP / Featured Image: NOAA/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Gerben Van Es/Dutch Defense Ministry via AP, John Falwell/AP via The Weather Channel

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