Hurricane Irma: two years on

When hurricane Irma and Maria hit the Caribbean in September 2017, no one imagined how powerful and devastating they would be.

Whole islands devastated


On 27 August 2017, a tropical wave left the west coast of Africa. Within 4 days it had become Hurricane Irma – the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Hurricane Irma made landfall on 6 September, leaving a string of Caribbean islands completely devastated. With wind speeds of up to 185 mph, Irma maintained Category 5 strength for 60 consecutive hours.

But the devastation didn’t stop there. Almost two weeks later, Hurricane Maria hit the same islands that took the brunt of Irma’s wrath. Also a Category 5 hurricane, Maria sustained winds of 155 mph, taking down home after home. When the hurricane passed over Dominica, it destroyed all of the buildings on the island.

Two years later, we are looking back to one of the worst hurricane seasons in the Caribbean, in pictures. Take a look below and see how we’ve helped.

Who we've helped


We have provided aid to over 2,000 families across five islands in the Caribbean. Read their incredible stories of recovery here.

Rebuilding after Hurricane Maria

Ella's story

See how Ella managed to rebuild and improve her family’s livelihood after Hurricane Maria.

Recovery in Dominica after Hurricane Maria

Simon's story

When Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc in Dominica in 2017, it destroyed Simon’s house. Read how we have supported Simon in rebuilding his home and finding comfort once again.

Recovery after hurricane Maria

Amy's story

When hurricane Irma hit the island of Barbuda, Amy’s home was destroyed. Read how she managed to recover.

Disasters don't stop

June to November is hurricane season in the Caribbean.

We are monitoring activity from our Headquarters to ensure that we are ready to respond next time a disaster strikes.

But what exactly is a hurricane? How do they form? How often do they occur? Find out everything you need to know here.

Explore more


Hurricane Irma

In 2017, Category 5 Hurricane Irma caused devastation in the Caribbean, then Hurricane Maria brought a new wave of destruction.

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Natural Disasters Explained

Tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, volcanoes – everything you need to know about disasters.