"Unfortunately some of the prisoners have escaped and are now armed," Sam Branson said in a video message updating followers on Hurricane Irma aftermath

By Stephanie Petit
September 12, 2017 10:13 AM
Credit: Sam Branson/Instagram

Richard Branson‘s son kept his social media followers informed in the wake of Hurricane Irma, warning that prisoners on the British Virgin Islands have escaped and are armed ahead of his journey back to help in the relief efforts.

Sam Branson, who rode out the storm on the family’s Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, posted video messages and photos from the Caribbean showing the devastation from Irma.

In a video on Sunday, Sam said, “I’ve been getting some updates on the ground out there on the British Virgin Islands and it’s really sad to say that there is a lot of civil unrest.”

He continued, “Unfortunately some of the prisoners have escaped and are now armed.”

The 32-year-old warned that those sending supply boats to aid the area should have security and get the latest information from officials for their own safety.

“I don’t want to panic anyone but it’s really important people are aware of the situation there,” Sam said. “Some areas are okay, some aren’t. Just get the right information. It’s just incredibly tragic.”

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Sam made his way to San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Monday before sharing that he was heading back to the British Virgin Islands to help in the relief efforts.

In a blog post on Virgin.com, Sam’s sister Holly wrote that “people have been left with nothing.”

“My brother Sam is currently travelling to the BVI with supplies and aid, ranging from nappies and clothing to water purification tablets and tarpaulin for shelter,” she wrote along with a photo of the two embracing. “It’s been very hard to gain an understanding of the situation on the ground with power on the islands still down, but he will be keeping you all updated as much as possible via his Instagram account.”

The massive storm destroyed much of Richard’s private island last week as it ripped through the Caribbean earlier.

The British billionaire and Virgin Group founder, 67, also headed to Puerto Rico after hunkering down in his Necker Island wine cellar, but announced in a Monday blog post that he will soon return to the British Virgin Islands to help rebuild after the storm devastated parts of the Caribbean.

“Much of the buildings and vegetation on Necker has been destroyed or badly damaged,” Branson wrote.

“This story is about the tens of thousands of people who have lost their homes and their livelihoods. We have spent the past two days visiting team members who live on Virgin Gorda and as many people as possible, distributing aid, water and supplies.”

He added: “We have seen first-hand just how ferocious and unforgiving this storm was.”