Billionaire Richard Branson's private island got absolutely walloped by Irma, and he just posted photos
On Twitter and in a statement on the Virgin Group website, Branson shared photos depicting toppled palm trees and shattered buildings from Necker, the neighboring Virgin Island Gorda, and Puerto Rico. After waiting out Hurricane Irma in his concrete wine cellar as the storm hit his private Necker Island, Richard Branson's emerged to detail the damage.
While detailing the damage to his personal property, Branson took time to remind readers that this was just a small example of the widespread destruction Irma caused in its tear through the Caribbean.
He emphasized that the "Irma story" is neither about him nor his island. Instead, his followers should focus on the "1000s of people who've lost homes & livelihoods."
The Virgin website has added a donation option to help raise funds for Irma victims.
Branson also had some strong words about the link between Irma—the second most intense hurricane on record in the Atlantic—and global warming.
"Man-made climate change is contributing to increasingly strong hurricanes causing unprecedented damage," wrote Branson on the Virgin website. "The whole world should be scrambling to get on top of the climate change issue before it is too late – for this generation, let alone the generations to come."
This isn't the first time Branson's called for urgent action on climate change. After President Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, Branson spoke out against the decision, for himself and for other business leaders, and pledged to continue fighting global warming in the private sector.
In addition to combatting climate change, Branson's repeated emphasis on helping the victims of Hurricane Irma is well taken. Many Virgin Island residents are banking on social media to spread word of the damage, and marshal as much aid as possible.
Branson also reminded his followers that the Virgin Islands are bracing for potentially even more damage with the approach of Hurricane Jose.
Ultimately, Branson said he considers hurricanes "one of the wonders of the natural world." But that the most important thing is to continue coordinating aid and acting on a disaster recovery plan.
Here's hoping the billionaire's 11.4 million twitter followers get his message, and act on it.