Nearly every building on the island of Barbuda was destroyed by Hurricane Irma as it crashed into the island on 6 September, and now continues to cut a swathe across the Caribbean.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda described how the island is "literally a rubble" and estimates as a much as 95% of the homes on the tiny island have experienced some sort of damage.

Browne said he saw the extent of the damage in Barbuda during a rough "aerial survey" and believes around 60% of the some 1,400 residents on the island have been left homeless by Irma.

Describing the devastation affecting those who live on the island, Browne told local TV and radio station ABS: "They would have lost at least part of their roofs, some people have lost whole roofs, some properties have been completely destroyed.

"It is absolutely heart-wrenching. I mean the infrastructure, the utilities infrastructure, is damaged. The psychical infrastructure was damaged.

"You'd recognise too that the island is literally underwater and that in itself represents a serious threat in terms of mosquito-borne diseases and we have to be very careful. I'm at the view that, as it stands now, Barbuda is barely habitable."

Browne added that the island is also under threat from another storm, Hurricane Jose, which is currently gathering strength in the Atlantic Basin along with Hurricane Katia.

At least six people have died so far as the Category 5 Hurricane Irma makes its way across the Caribbean. A two-year-old boy in Barbuda died as his family tried to escape a home damaged by the storm.

Irma eventually moved onto the Puerto Rico, with the country's capital San Juan experiencing winds of up to 100mph (160kph). More than 600,000 people are without power and nearly 50,000 without water on the island, with at least 14 hospitals using generators after losing power.

The US National Hurricane Center predicts Irma will remain a Category 4 or 5 as passes just north of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. It is expected to skirt past Cuba on Friday night (8 September) into Saturday before heading north towards Florida on Sunday (10 September).

A street is flooded during the passing of Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017 in Fajardo, Puerto Rico Getty

Governor Rick Scott has planned to activate 7,000 National Guard soldiers to deal with Irma, which he warned is "bigger, faster and stronger" than Hurricane Andrew, which wiped out entire neighbourhoods in south Florida 25 years ago.

The UN estimates that as many as 37 million people will eventually be affected by Irma. Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the UN has deployed a humanitarian team to Barbados to work with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency to help hurricane victims when it hits the island.

Hurricane Irma map
The expected path of Hurricane Irma Daniele Palumbo