Hollywood legend Robert De Niro has personally promised to rebuild Barbuda after 95 per cent of its buildings were destroyed.
The Caribbean island was ruined as Hurricane Irma hit on Wednesday, the most powerful Atlantic Ocean storm recorded in history.
In a statement given to local news channel ABS, Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne spoke about the damage the island suffered.
What I saw was heart-wrenching, I mean absolutely devastating.
In fact I believe per capita basis the destruction in Barbuda is unprecedented.
I would say about 95 per cent of properties have suffered some level of damage.
As it stands now Barbuda is barely habitable.
At least one person has been killed in the devastation that has left 60 per cent of Barbuda’s 1,600 residents homeless.
Prime Minister Speaks on Barbuda…..LIVE In Studio
Posted by ABS Television/Radio on Wednesday, 6 September 2017
Robert De Niro, who owns the soon-to-be Paradise Found Nobu resort in Barbuda, has now promised to help with recovery efforts after expressing his concerns for the island.
He has vowed to rebuild the island which lies roughly 250 miles east of Puerto Rico.
In a statement obtained by the New York Daily News, De Niro said:
We are beyond saddened to learn of the devastation in Barbuda caused from Hurricane Irma and look forward to working with the Paradise Found Nobu team, the Barbuda Council, GOAB and the entire Barbuda community to successfully rebuild what nature has taken away from us.
De Niro and billionaire James Packer brought the resort land last year but had yet to begin construction on the property.
Their original proposal faces controversy with the island’s residents who legally have ownership of all land in Barbuda and the right to vote on all proposals.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.