Sometime ago when hurricane Irma was ravishing the islands some ignorant guy in the USA tweeted that North Americans should not worry about hurricanes and their destruction that the media is showing from the islands because the islands are third world countries with sub par buildings.
I am only now getting chance to address this. Having lived in both North America and the Caribbean and witnessing how construction of a typical house is done in both I can tell you that Caribbean houses are 10 times stronger than the North American counterparts. In the Caribbean it is typical
to build a house from bottom to top with only metal and concrete. It is laughable for anyone to create a house out of frame wood and drywall like they do in the USA - no one here does this. In fact, if someone were to build using wood they would be considered destitute / very poor since most times they would be using scraps and galvanize sheets. Historically, Caribbean houses were built out of wood during colonial times (Chattel house), that was way back when just like the Wild West did the same - we are no longer in those days.
The only exception to strong houses in the USA is where North Americans build with solid clay blocks / prefab out of concrete / steel, but since this is expensive it is not as common. Additionally, the USA uses wood for floors where as we use pure concrete reinforced with steel. Therefore, I will like to tell that ignorant Tweeter that what you are seeing in the media is a hurricane attacking solid concrete reinforced with metal - not wood, not dry walls. Hurricanes are dangerous and as everyone is seeing we must humble ourselves when Mother Nature comes around because she is all powerful on this planet and first world nation status means nothing to her.
Image Gallery: Caribbean Houses