Down in the doldrums

As the faint remnants of long lived Irma finally weakened into light scattered showers across the distant American valleys of Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee, shell-shocked survivors slowly started to take stock following the latest deadly hurricane. The damage and destruction left behind in an unforgettable week of widespread devastation across the north-eastern Caribbean will take many months, if not years for battered countries to recover from, experts say, as the lifeline tourism industry lies ruined by wild winds and walls of water.

The incredible images of stunned islanders in brown wastelands suddenly stripped of all greenery and looking like Middle East war zones with miles of levelled homes and broken businesses, as beautiful beaches disappeared and popular city streets churned into raging rivers will stay with us, as too, the disturbing social media scenes of dystopian desperation, scavenging and looting, and the harrowing accounts of absolute anarchy.

Tourists fled in droves as soon they could from this alien, hostile environment, while others with the means scattered to the nearest intact island seeking the basics. Those left behind, homeless, hungry and hollow-eyed wandered as….