A MOTHER has spoken of her fears for her daughter left stranded on a Caribbean island devastated by Hurricane Irma.

Teacher Katy Shimmin, who only arrived on Turks and Caicos at the end of August, was left cowering in a bathroom as the storm tore the island apart.

Her devastated mother Julie Shimmin, who lives in Grosvenor Street, Bury, begged her 26-year-old daughter to return home – but was told the flooded airport had been closed.

Mrs Shimmin told the Bury Times: "I just wanted her to come home.

"I said 'can you just get a plane?' and she said 'I can't they have closed the airport'."

She told her mother the island had been completely devastated and that those living there were now facing food and water shortages. She was also fearful of looting, which has been reported in other places Hurricane Irma had hit, like St Martin.

When the hurricane hit on Thursday evening, Mrs Shimmin had no idea if her daughter had survived and spent all night worrying about her.

On Friday, Mrs Shimmin finally heard from Katy.

She said: "Katy said it was like being in the film Dunkirk. There were loud bangs, screeching and awful noises for hours on end through the night. They were on the third floor and water was right up to the second floor and part of the roof had come off. It was terrifying for her."

Katy had only arrived in Turks and Caicos at the end of August ready to start a job as a primary school teacher at The International School of the Turks & Caicos Islands on the Providenciales island.

When island residents were told to expect Irma, the school put all the teachers up in a hotel nearby, with Katy sharing with two new colleagues.

They spent the duration of the storm in the bathroom as there were no windows to shatter and Katy slept in the bath. The morning after the hurricane, Katy posted on Facebook.

She wrote: "The storm was very scary and a bit like being in a concrete swaying boat with bomber planes flying overhead.

"I wouldn't recommend sleeping in a bath again. The window came in, our room flooded, but we still managed to huddle in the bathroom and play 'who am I' with our torches."

Photographs she sent home show the flooded airport, empty supermarket shelves and trees ripped from the ground.

Katy explained that buildings on the island are built to withstand category three storms – but Irma was a category five and battered the Caribbean.

Mrs Shimmin said: "They have been told that food and water will run out in five days. There's no help heading to them because other islands have been hit too and people seem to be concentrating more on Miami and Florida, rather than the islands that have been devastated."

She revealed her daughter and her friends were drinking orange juice due to a lack of any fresh water.

Mrs Shimmin said: "When she rang she said she had managed to get a quick shower, which was freezing cold and within a couple of minutes the water started to smell horrendous. She said she'd kept her mouth closed. There's going to be sewage in all the water supplies. After disasters like these you get diseases spreading.

"She's going back to her own apartment but I've heard reports of looting on other islands so I don't really want her being on her own."

Mrs Shimmin spoke to her daughter on Monday and said: "She spoke to me this morning and said its been like 'Lord of the Flies' the last few days. It's brought the good and the bad out of people."

She said she expected her daughter to stay on the island to start her new job in the near future.