Hurricane Irma: Londoner tells of 'apocalyptic' storm as he live tweets from stairwell

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A Londoner has told of “apocalyptic” Hurricane Irma in a string of live tweets sent as he sought shelter inside a crowded stairwell.

Alex Woolfall said he was on Caribbean island Sint Maarten when the storm – the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever recorded – hit in the early hours of Wednesday morning local time.

The PR worker described the loud noise of Hurricane Irma “like a jet engine” as he crowded with others in the concrete stairwell for safety.

Tweeting at around 9.30am in the UK, PR worker Mr Woolfall said: “0430 now in #StMaarten and building shaking and howling winds. Scary stuff but still have power.

“Evacuated and everyone now hiding in concrete stairwell of building. Noise of wind insane. Pray this will end soon!”

A short while later he added: “Okay I am now pretty terrified so can every non-believer, atheist and heretic please pray for me in #StMaarten s Irma is here now.”

At 5.44am local time Mr Woolfall went on: “So what they don’t tell you in a hurricane is how HOT it is! Jeez. Am boiling! 

“May be my last tweet as power out and noise now apocalyptic. This is like a movie I never want to see.

“My God this noise! It’s like standing behind a jet engine!! Constant booms and bangs. At least concrete stairwell not moving.”

His last tweet read: “Still thunderous sonic boom noises outside and boiling in stairwell. Can feel scream of things being hurled against building.”

Hurricane Irma, which recorded 185mph winds as it sped across the Atlantic, ripped into the Caribbean and shaking Antigua and Barbuda.

It is set to continue on a path towards Puerto Rico and possibly Florida by the weekend.

As the sun rose on Wednesday, authorities on the small islands of the eastern Caribbean were still evaluating the situation as reports came in of flooding and fallen trees.

Footage from the scene from the island of St Maarten, which shares its island with French territory Saint Martin, records roaring thunder.

Another clip recorded from inside a hotel shows debris scattered while cars and roads are partly submerged.


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