A new challenge looms for British Virgin Islands: how to clean up hurricane mess

With the economy wrecked and tourist season approaching, dealing with washed-up boats, cars and thousands of tonnes of storm debris is an urgent priority.

How the Midway Bar came to be destroyed is not in doubt: a 42ft sailing catamaran hangs 10ft above the former bar-room, still wedged in the ruins more than two months after Hurricane Irma made landfall in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

But how it will ever be restored remains unclear: the Sundowner is just one of hundreds of wrecked boats still littered across the island – tossed ashore, dumped on the seabed or torn to pieces by Irma and its sister storm Maria.

“Irma destroyed me,” said the bar’s owner, Ecedro Thomas as he surveyed the devastation. “Thirty-two years this bar stood here. I’d have it rebuilt already if they’d just move this damn catamaran.” Read more...

Global​ ​Volunteers​ ​Bring​ ​Hurricane​ ​Relief​ ​to​ ​Virgin​ ​Islands

One Love BVI (OLB) today announced the successful launch of the world’s first international aid and volunteer organization focused solely on the British Virgin Islands.

Following the unprecedented devastation of Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in history, global activists leveraged the combined power of Facebook, Squarespace and DonorBox to harness the outpouring of support for the tiny, virtually unknown archipelago.

Sophie Leroy, an administrator of the grassroots Facebook group, “BVI Abroad – Hurricane Irma” and former resident of the B.V.I., said, “We never expected this to go viral — we thought we were just connecting a few friends who were desperately trying to get news about our loved ones in the B.V.I. Honestly, our entire admin team has been blown away by the response.”

The Facebook group exploded to over 32,000 members in just three weeks. Read more...

Tropical Storm Maria Becomes a Hurricane


People of the Virgin Islands, this is Governor Jaspert. When I last spoke with you on Saturday September 16, I indicated that my next address will be on Monday unless there are urgent developments.

Unfortunately,  I must speak to you today (Sunday, September 17) as there are some new developments with Tropical Storm Maria which need to be brought to your immediate attention.

We are all still dealing with relief and recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma but while we are doing this, we must also prepare for what may come.

The report at 2pm today shows that Tropical Storm Maria continues to move west-northwest at 15 miles per hour, with maximum sustained winds nearing 65 miles per hour with higher gusts.

The system is expected to develop into a hurricane today or tonight.

Based on the forecast the center of Maria will move across the Leeward Islands Monday night and could pass close to the British Virgin Islands on Tuesday or Wednesday as a major Hurricane... Read more

BVI Volunteers Medical Team Offers Needed Relief

One of our top priorities in this first week after Hurricane Irma has been to respond to the BVI health authorities' urgent call for trained medical personnel. Throughout the week we gathered volunteers, organized their data files, and coordinated with Dr. Georges at Peebles Hospital to collaborate and streamline the process of bringing in the needed relief.

The next step was to identify and secure both an external team leader and a point person on the ground in the BVI. Jeremy Holleb and Christine Perakis have stepped up to take on these roles, respectively. They will manage communications with the team of over 40 volunteer medical professionals from around the world -- with more coming in every day! Together with Dr. Georges they will schedule and stage the physicians, surgeons, nurses, dentists, and first responders as required.

Please join us in extending a warm and extremely grateful welcome to our entire medical team. Together we can do this! #BVIstrong

New York Times Covers BVI in the Aftermath

British Virgin Islands: ‘Knocked Down, but Not Knocked Out’ by Irma

JOST VAN DYKE, B.V.I. — This little island draws boats from all around the globe to its powdery beaches and ebullient bar scene. Thousands of visitors come for the boisterous New Year’s Eve celebration at Foxy’s — a wooden beachside bar decorated with the license plates and flags that visitors have left behind since the 1960s.

But after Hurricane Irma’s winds annihilated many of the homes here on Jost Van Dyke, one of the British Virgin Islands, Foxy’s Tamarind Bar and Restaurant has become something else entirely: the island’s de facto command center and lifeline.

Without electricity, running water or telephone lines, the island’s 298 inhabitants have been marooned, forced to survive with what they salvaged... Read more


BVI Volunteers Is On Twitter And Posting Updates

Follow @BVI_Volunteers for the latest updates from BVI Volunteers and the BVI relief effort. We're posting daily updates to keep you informed about volunteer dispatches, government updates, relief and recovery progress, weather watches, calls for volunteers, and more. 

Volunteer dispatches to date:

  • medical personnel
  • supply coordination
  • pilot referral
  • evacuation support
  • geo-location support for infrastructure damage
  • communications
  • database administration
  • media content
  • interviews

Sign-up to volunteer and you'll receive weekly communications and breaking news about volunteer opportunities to #helpBVI recover. #BVIstrong!

Hurricane Irma: UK Government Response in Numbers

Facts and figures on the UK government's relief work in the Caribbean and the British Overseas Territories in response to Hurricane Irma.



  • RFA Mounts Bay, pre-stationed in the region, provided initial assistance to Anguilla to clear the runway. It then continued to British Virgin Islands to establish security of supplies, and fix basic infrastructure and shelter to people. After travelling to US Virgin Islands to resupply, she returned to Anguilla to deliver reconstruction materials and arrived in the British Virgin Islands on Tuesday with further supplies and will be delivering humanitarian aid and disaster relief on Wednesday.

  • HMS Ocean is being deployed to the region after being loaded with 5,000 hygiene kits, 10,000 buckets and 500,000 aquatabs in Gibraltar.


  • Over 200 personnel arrived on Tuesday 12 September, including stabilisation advisers, medical support and military. Read more... 

Tortola Express Accepting Food Aid to Deliver to BVI

Dear BVI Supporters. Many have asked how to help in this time of crisis. TortolaExpress/Aeropost will be moving food donations free of charge until the end of September. Please send food and Non perishables to BVI Aid, EIS284, 6703 NW 7th St, Miami 33126. This will be moved free of charge and is general aid items. Not for individuals but to help all the hungry mouths in the BVI. If you want to send stuff to your families please send it to aeropost to your regular accounts. We will move it as soon as we can along with other regular service goods.

~Tortola Express

Airport Tower and BVI Ports Authority Now Operational

BVIDDM is no longer dealing with vessel clearances into the territory. The Airport Tower and BVI Ports Authority are now operational and pilots/captains can radio in for clearance as usual and receive instructions. Port Purcell is the point of entry for sailing vessels as it has armed security. PLEASE USE CAUTION when approaching as there will be increased traffic. Inform authorities on what you are bringing in and who you are taking out.

The tower at the T.B. Lettsome International Airport is now open. Priority is being given to military goods and technical expertise. No provisions have yet been made to accommodate commercial flights. https://goo.gl/DEoF6t

For tower call Sat 001 881 651477455
For Port Purcell VHF 16

BVI Volunteers Organize

BVI Volunteers has organized to coordinate global volunteer teams for the relief efforts and an effective communications infrastructure working in cooperation with the British Virgin Islands and UK governments. Sign up to Volunteer and we will get you on a team and in contact with the team lead within 24-48 hours so you can receive updates as quickly as possible. Stay tuned for more updates as we receive them.


UPDATE 13 SEPTEMBER 2017: The hospital has received many generous offers of support from medical personnel and this request is currently on hold. Stand by for updates! 



We have just set up a separate email address for medical relief flight clearances. Attention of Dr. George: BVIhealthirma@gmail.com

Urge any medical staff willing to volunteer to BVI to please get there ASAP. Book your charter flights and get flight clearance from email above PLEASE. 

God bless and God speed!

BVI Safety Check Launched

BVI Hurricane Irma Safety Check

This is a safety check page which we have put together to help friends and family post the status of loved ones in the British Virgin Islands affected by Hurricane Irma. As many know the communications are down in most of the BVI and people are trying to find out if friends and family members in the BVI are safe.

Please only post people who are known to be in the BVI and not other countries. Please search for the person you are looking for before posting to avoid duplicate entries.

Community updates can be found on the BVI Abroad - Hurricane Irma Facebook page.

For donations Richard Branson has setup a donation fund with no fees. WE STRONGLY URGE YOU TO #DONATE. Click Here.

A website for information and updates for aid and relief to the British Virgin Islands has been setup, https://bvirelief.com/.

Search and Rescue begins as Jose draws nearer

Door to door searches began as several residents and tourists were trapped in their homes and hotels following Irma's wrath. Communications are down throughout the island, making it difficult to both locate missing persons and get the word out about the impending storm.

Read more... Isolated by Irma, British Virgin Islands don’t know what will come first — help or Hurricane Jose