Sir Richard Branson riding out Hurricane Irma on his private island

Sir Richard Branson riding out Hurricane Irma on his private island

"As you can see from the photos, much of the buildings and vegetation on Necker has been destroyed or badly damaged". Unfortunately, most of the buildings were destroyed.

"We have just experienced a night of howling wind and rain as Hurricane Irma edges ever closer towards us on Necker and the British Virgin Islands", he said. "Very concerned for our friends and everyone on the neighbouring islands and people in its path".

Branson and his son both took to social media after the hurricane to show the destruction.

Branson said all the colleagues who joined him in the wine cellar were safe, and that "very, very fortunately" the structure held firm.

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Recalling seeing two powerful hurricanes, Earl and Otto, strike the British Virgin Islands in 2010, Branson said he had beheld nature "at its most ferocious".

Sir Richard Branson riding out Hurricane Irma on his private island

Branson thanked people for the "messages of support" and said he was certain the "amazing people" living in the islands "will bounce back stronger than ever".

Instead, the Virgin Group founder will hunker down on his private Caribbean island in the British Virgin Islands, despite acknowledging that "almost nothing" can withstand a Category 5 hurricane.

About 95 percent of the tiny island of Barbuda, southeast from Necker Island, sustained damage, according to Gaston Browne, prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda.

Billionaire businessman Richard Branson has made contact with the outside world after deciding to hunker down and stay on his private island while Hurricane Irma raged through the British Virgin Islands.

"I will be on Necker alongside our team, as I have been on the three times we have had hurricanes over the past 30 years".

"We had some lovely guests staying on Necker Island who have cut their trip short for safety reasons, and another group of guests have also postponed", Sir Richard wrote.

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