Barbuda 'totally destroyed' - Prime Minister Gaston Browne

The Prime Minister of a Caribbean island hit by Hurricane Irma overnight says it has been "totally destroyed".

Speaking in a live TV broadcast, Gaston Browne said Barbuda is in a state of "national disaster", adding that 90 percent of vehicles and structures on the island have been "totally demolished".

All communication to Barbuda was cut off for ten hours, and reports are now starting to come through about the extent of the destruction. Three people have now been confirmed dead.

"Devastation… [the island] is literally in rubble."

After initially saying the island had "stood up to a mighty test", Mr Browne now estimates it will cost at least $150 million to repair.

"That's no exaggeration," he said.

The storm is now moving towards Florida and will be the strongest Atlantic storm to ever make landfall I the United States. It comes only one week after Hurricane Harvey killed more than 60 people in Texas.