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Paradise lost: How Hurricane Irma will change the Caribbean

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After one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to hit the Caribbean, the region will have to change the way it plans for disasters

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Paradise lost

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Hurricane Irma (1)

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FOR three days in early September Hurricane Irma ground through the eastern Caribbean like a bulldozer made out of wind and rain. Tropical breezes became 300kph (185mph) blasts, turning “tin roofs into flying razor blades”, as Maarten van Aalst of the Red Cross put it. Placid seas reared up in giant waves and rainwater coursed through streets. Even when the sun eventually came out the nightmare did not end. Shortages of food and water sparked looting on some islands. Survivors were grateful that fewer than 50 …