As Irma left Cuba and directed its 130 miles per hour (215 kph) winds toward Florida Sunday, authorities on the island were warning of staggering damage to keys along the northern coast studded with all-inclusive resorts and cities, as well as farmland in central Cuba.
Despite the approaching element, the billionaire did not leave the island and outlasted a hurricane in a concrete wine cellar under their home.
"The task we have before us is vast but with a people like ours, we will win the most important battle: the recovery".
As Irma rolled in, Cuban soldiers went through coastal towns to force residents to evacuate, taking people to shelters at government buildings and schools - and even caves.
Video footage from northern and eastern Cuba showed severe damage. Witnesses said a provincial museum near the eye of the storm was in ruins.
More than 5,000 tourists were evacuated from the keys off Cuba's north-central coast, where the government has built dozens of resorts in recent years.
Civil Defense official Gergorio Torres tells reporters that authorities are still trying to tally the extent of the damage in Las Tunas province and nearby areas. And a lot of trees are down and power's still out throughout Havana.
French President Emmanuel Macron is also visiting the region, and his trip to St Martin is expected to coincide with the arrival of a military ship carrying supplies. Were there any evacuation efforts made from any of these places? Note how some of the vegetation on the south and west of the island is a bit greener, likely because it was partly shielded from winds by the hills in the center.
Tourists have reportedly been hiding in their hotel rooms away from the 600 looters running riot. "Time is of the essence because of lack of sanitation and more rain coming, which could cause mud slides", she said. "I'm glad I'm alive". I've gotten support from the Spurs, H-E-B and the food bank - all across the board.
Branson said, "It is clear to me creating jobs is paramount - there will be a huge amount of rebuilding to be done and people will need work to help rebuild their lives as well as their homes - making reference to how best to help the islands recover".
Authorities in the devastated island nation of Antigua and Barbuda faced a historic effort ahead to rebuild.
Speaking to Sky News' Foreign Affairs Editor Sam Kiley on an aid flight to the region, alongside Royal Marines and medics, Mr Johnson said: "This has been long-planned ever since the hurricane broke".