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The wild isolation that made Cuba, St. Barts, St. Martin, Anguilla and the Virgin Islands vacation paradises has turned them into cut-off, chaotic nightmares in the wake of Hurricane Irma, which left at least 22 people dead, mostly in the Leeward Islands.As Irma left Cuba and directed its 215 kph winds toward Florida Sunday, authorities on the island were warning of staggering damage to keys along the northern coast studded with all-inclusive resorts and cities, as well as farmland in central Cuba.Many of Irma's victims fled their battered islands on ferries and fishing boats for fear Hurricane Jose would destroy or drench anything Irma left untouched.On the Dutch side of St. Martin, an island divided between French and Dutch control, an estimated 70 percent of the homes were destroyed by Irma, according to the Dutch government. Marlin said many countries and people have offered help to St. Maarten, but authorities were waiting on the weather conditions to see how it could be coordinated. Authorities are still trying to determine the extent of damage to the island but he said 28 police officers lost homes during the storms.
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