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Friday, September 8, 2017

Six-month-old British triplets among youngest survivors of killer storm, Hurricane Irma


A SET of British triplets are among the youngest survivors to escape the wrath of Hurricane Irma after their mum managed to shelter them in their home in the British Virgin Islands.
Kate Jackson, 33, a British citizen, and her fiancé Alex Ashman 31, along with her sister Christine Jackson hunkered down with the six-month old triplets away from the storm.

Kate was able to keep her baby daughters safe as winds of 185mph raged through their home on the island of Tortola.

The mum-of-three called her other sister, Claire Jackson, in Manchester to tell her that she, Alex, Christine and the triplets, Beatrice, Charlotte and Isabella, were safe.

But the family revealed that while they were safe, the family home in Tortola was completely destroyed in the storm.

Claire said it was a "huge relief" to know the family were safe but she was worried about Hurricane Jose, which is set to hit the island next.

She said: "I haven’t slept. These girls are so young. It’s probably the two worst days of my life."



Meanwhile, two British sisters caught up in Hurricane Irma on the island of Barbuda are believed to be safe and well and even organising relief efforts following fears they were among the missing. 

Asha Frank, 29, a former teacher and beauty queen, and her sister, 27-year-old Afiya Frank, had not made contact with their family in the UK since the storm hit on Tuesday night.

Hotel worker Afiya, who is six months pregnant, was due to fly back to the UK next week ahead of the birth, while her sister had recently been elected as a member of the Barbuda council.

After concern had been raised about their welfare, it emerged on Friday that the two women had been spotted helping with relief efforts in the wake of the storm by the captain of one of the boats evacuating residents.

Their mother, Claire Frank, and her Barbudan partner Mackenzie had been staying with relatives in Britain when the hurricane hit.

Mrs Frank said she was relieved to hear on Thursday through friends of the women that they were fine, and likely to be on the nearby island of Antigua.

She told the Press Association: "I believe that my daughters are in Antigua because one of them will be coming back to the UK and she will have been evacuated because she is expecting a baby, and the other one is there probably sorting out accommodation, because lots of Antiguans will offer their homes to Barbudans, but none of it is confirmed."

Asked if she thought her daughters were helping with relief efforts, she said: "We know that's what they would've been doing, and so would everyone else."

Mrs Frank said she will return to Barbuda when she can and hopes in future the island will be better prepared in the face of such disastrous conditions.

She said: "I think that we have to look at the good that comes out of it really, that we don't go through a situation again where we have no communication and we only have misinformation.

"What will probably come out of Barbuda for Barbuda is a lot of interest in people trying to restore what was there, and do it in a manner that means it is secure and safe, and Barbudans can live there."

Afiya and Asha's parents met in Leicester but have lived on the island for 30 years.

The sisters were born in the UK but moved to Barbuda when they were young, while their brother was born on the island but now works in England.

The family also lived through Hurricane Luis, which struck the area in 1995.

Speaking on Thursday, Mrs Frank said this storm had surpassed previous ones.

She said: "I think this hurricane surpassed all of them, and I think the trauma of being through something like that can affect you for several weeks after."

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