Richard Branson Rode Out Hurricane Irma in a Wine Cellar
Richard Branson, the 324th richest human in the world, rode out Hurricane Irma with his family in a concrete wine cellar beneath the “Great House” on his private island in the Caribbean. He wrote on his blog that he would not evacuate Necker Island, just like the “three times we have had hurricanes over the past 30 years.”
He posted this photo on Twitter of his team staying put:
Then, as Irma approached, they headed down to the cellar. “Knowing our wonderful team as I do, I suspect there will be little wine left in the cellar when we all emerge,” Branson wrote.
The team emerged after the hurricane passed unscathed. The structures around them, however, did not. “Glad to say that all humans on Necker are ok although a lot of buildings destroyed,” Branson’s son Sam wrote in an Instagram post. “Very concerned for our friends and everyone on the neighbouring islands and people in its path.”
He also wrote, “Nature warning us again of the impact of #climatechange We must all do more to combat this.” Before they hit, Branson also noted that “man-made climate change” was a “key factor” in hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Irma destroyed “upwards of 90 percent” of the island of Barbuda, which lay directly in its path. Its prime minister said the island is “rubble.” Nine deaths have been reported thus far in islands hit by the Category 5 hurricane. It is expected to make landfall in Florida early Sunday morning, where evacuations are taking place.
“We are deeply saddened by the events that have taken place in the last 24 hours and our hearts and thoughts are with our friends and family in the Caribbean,” Branson’s blog read Thursday morning. “We will do whatever we can to support and assist our local community through this extremely testing time.”
So that’s four hurricane’s Branson’s stuck out on his island in the last 30 years. Hopefully, Jose, the tropical storm brewing behind Irma, won’t be a fifth.