Richard-Branson-Necker-Island

Richard Branson's Necker Island home 'destroyed' after being struck by Hurricane Irma

The entrepreneur and his staff were forced to hide in the wine cellar

Chloe Best

Richard Branson's home on Necker Island has been left "uninhabitable" after being struck by Hurricane Irma. The entrepreneur and his team retreated to the wine cellar at the property as the category five hurricane hit the British Virgin Islands and large parts of the Caribbean on Wednesday, and thankfully they survived unscathed.

Sam Branson confirmed that "all humans" on the island were okay in a lengthy Instagram post on Friday, but urged people in the path of the hurricane to prepare themselves and get to safety. "Glad to say that all humans on Necker are ok although a lot of buildings destroyed," he wrote. "Very concerned for our friends and everyone on the neighbouring islands and people in its path. Please don't take this hurricane lightly if it is heading your way. If your building is not very solid, do find somewhere safe! Homes can be rebuilt but lives can't. Nature warning us again of the impact of #climatechange. We must all do more to combat this."

Richard Branson's home on Necker Island has been destroyed

Earlier in the week Richard said he had no plans to leave his private retreat despite being in the path of the storm. Writing on his blog, the 67-year-old said the atmosphere was "eerie but beautiful" as the hurricane moved closer, and revealed that he had hosted a sleepover for all of his staff within two rooms of the main house.

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On Wednesday Richard shared a photo of his team playing games together at the property, writing: "Experienced a night of howling wind and rain as #hurricaneirma edges closer. Expecting full force in about 4 hours, we'll retreat into a concrete wine cellar under the house. Wonderful team calm and upbeat."

The entrepreneur stayed in the wine cellar as the hurricane struck

Hurricane Irma is the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic, and killed at least eight people as it tore through the Caribbean on Wednesday. It is believed to have destroyed nearly all buildings on the island of Barbuda, and caused serious damage on the island of St Martin.

It is not the first time Richard's property has been damaged by a natural disaster. In 2011 the home was severely damaged after catching fire when it was struck by lightning during Hurricane Irene. Kate Winslet and her now-husband Ned Rocknroll, Richard's nephew, were among the guests staying there at the time.

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