Richard Branson Refuses to Leave British Virgin Islands Despite Hurricane Irma

The billionaire owns Necker Island.

September 6, 2017 8:39 am
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Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Billionaire Richard Branson is refusing to leave his private Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, despite Hurricane Irma’s approach.

The National Hurricane Centre has warned the rainfall from Irma, which is becoming one of the largest on record, could cause life-threatening flash floods, torrential rain, fierce winds up to 185 mph, and mudslides, reports the Express

The hurricane has been upgraded to a Category 5 storm.

Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, wrote on his blog that the “devastation that hurricanes can cause cannot be overstated,” but that despite the Virgin Islands have one hurricane hit every 10 years, most of them drift north, and “a category five hurricane hasn’t hit the BVI full on before,” according to the Express. 

He said he will be on Necker “along side our team, as I have been on the three times we have had hurricanes over the past 30 years.”

Branson also urged people on the British Virgin Islands to follow advice and seek shelters when the hurricane arrives. Express reports that Branson is also worried about the “wonderful wildlife” of the islands, and hopes that all people and animals can “keep out of harm’s way in the coming days.”

He went on to blame the hurricane on climate change, and said that the damage caused by Harvey is a reminder that “we are not doing enough to tackle this enormous challenge,” reports Express. 

Hurricane Irma is expected to keep strengthening over of the next 48 hours.

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