And while those small island nations were thoroughly battered by the storm, Cuba arguably got it worse than anyone else. The storm sat over the island from 9:00 pm on Friday - when it landed as a Category 5 storm, until it left on Sunday afternoon as a Category three.
In those 48 hours, Cuba took a historic pounding. Today we went to the Cuban Embassy where we spoke to the Minister Counselor about the storm, and the recovery:...
Orestes Hernandez - Minister Counselor, Cuban Embassy
"We were waiting for Irma maybe in different ways. We were just waiting that she might be, or it might be, crossing to the north of the island but not with that force - it was four and five."
Jules Vasquez - Reporter
"And for hours."
"And it took two days, forty-eight hours from the eastern side of Cuba to Matanza's providence, when she turned and go out north. So it took forty-eight hours just blowing everything and destroying most of our provinces. I mean, it affected from the north to the south, because the diameter was more than a 130 km, might be something like 300 km, so most of us, the 90% of our country was affected by Irma. But mostly, we have lost ten Cubans in this period. Most of them died during the hurricane path on Cuba. I think it will take years to recover 100% because you have to understand that Irma was just passing over the whole tourist section of the north of Cuba. We have made a lot of efforts to build that whole framework. It was swept, so Irma almost destroyed everything. If tourism is one of our most important activities, we need to work together to try and recover as soon as we can because the high season is coming around the corner. As you said, we don't have a lot of resources but we have a human capital which is the most important capital. And when you see during the last hours that I have been checking the internet, when you see in those images people from the army, people from different civil institutions, people from the government- local governments- and people from the neighborhoods working together to try to eliminate all those effects, you will understand that."
The storm severely affected Cuba's electrical system.
We'll keep following post-Irma developments in Cuba and the wider Caribbean.