Hurricane Erma has caused devastation across Caribbean countries worth nearly $ 10 billion, the most expensive to hit countries and islands in the region, disaster risk experts estimated Friday.
The estimates cover about 12 islands and areas hit by the cyclone, as well as projections of destruction in the Torx and Caicos Islands, which are in the cyclone track, according to the Disaster Management Center and risk reduction technology in Germany.
“The cost of the losses is likely to be $ 10 billion in the Caribbean,” said James Daniel, head of the Center’s disaster analysis group. “It’s a huge loss.”
The Netherlands suffered the largest losses ($ 2.5 billion), the US Virgin Islands ($ 2.45 billion), the French St Martin ($ 1.55 billion) and the British Virgin Islands ($ 1.4 billion).
Hurricane Puerto Rico did not hit the United States, but it is expected to cause losses of $ 790 million, the center estimates.
The $ 10 billion does not include the expected losses in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, where the high population density is expected to hit them later.
The cost could be as high as $ 120 billion if the US is included in the loss estimates.
Hurricane Erma is expected to hit Florida on Saturday night.
Some 1.2 million people have been affected by the cyclone so far, according to the Red Cross, which has confirmed that the figure is up to 26 million