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Suffolk woman trying to trace nieces on Barbuda after Hurricane Irma receives news they are safe

PUBLISHED: 06:55 08 September 2017 | UPDATED: 08:01 08 September 2017

Afiya Frank, who has been helping with the voluntary evacuation. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Afiya Frank, who has been helping with the voluntary evacuation. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

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A Suffolk woman trying to trace her two nieces after Hurricane Irma devastated the Caribbean island Barbuda has received news both women are safe.

Asha Frank, who has been seen helping on the island. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDAsha Frank, who has been seen helping on the island. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Ruth Bolton, from Badwell Ash, near Bury St Edmunds, updated her GoFundMe page four hours ago to say that 27-year-old Afiya Frank – who is seven months pregnant – and her sister Asha Frank, 29, had been seen helping with the voluntary evacuation on the island.

Ms Bolton’s fundraising page has now reached more than £7,000 in just one day to aid the relief effort on the island, which has been ravaged by the Category 5 storm.

Ms Bolton said rowers from Team Antigua were able to get news back from the island as well as some film footage.

On her GoFundMe page, she said: “Today we have been getting a little news from Barbuda. The Team Antigua Atlantic Rowers managed to get word back and some film footage of the island.

A man surveys the wreckage on his property after the passing of Hurricane Irma, in St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda, on Wednesday. Picture: AP Photo/Johnny Jno-BaptisteA man surveys the wreckage on his property after the passing of Hurricane Irma, in St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda, on Wednesday. Picture: AP Photo/Johnny Jno-Baptiste

“It has been frustrating waiting for news and the lack of information unbearable. We now know that everyone is accounted for. Asha and Afiya Frank have been seen helping with the voluntary evacuation.

“Families are still trying to trace their loved ones and a boat and plane will travel back with more passengers tomorrow.”

Ms Bolton, a well-known local caterer, who was a judge at the EADT’s Suffolk Food and Drink Awards, said the response of the public to her fundraising page had been “overwhelming”.

Speaking to the EADT yesterday, she said: “The fundraising has been brilliant. I’ve been overwhelmed with the generosity of people. We’ve now got two satellite phones which we are hoping to get to the island as soon as possible.”

People recover broken parts of the dock in St John's, Antigua and Barbuda, after Hurricane Irma passed.  Picture: AP Photo/Johnny Jno-BaptistePeople recover broken parts of the dock in St John's, Antigua and Barbuda, after Hurricane Irma passed. Picture: AP Photo/Johnny Jno-Baptiste

To donate, visit Ruth’s GoFundMe page here.

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