Missing sisters found 'safe and unharmed' after Hurricane Irma ravaged island

Two young British women who went missing on a hurricane-ravaged Caribbean island were found on September 7 safe and well. 

Former Miss Antigua Asha Frank, 29, and her seven-month pregnant sister Afiya, 27, were both on the island of Barbuda when it was hit by Hurricane Irma. 

The women's aunt Ruth Bolton, 48, last heard from them at 10:30 p.m. on September 6, as the island was being lashed by 185 mph winds. The women messaged her via the Whatsapp service to say they were preparing for the hurricane. 

She later described the silence as "unbearable" after failing to hear from the two women for more than two days. 

But on September 7, Bolton revealed on Twitter that the pair have now been found safe and well. 

She said they have been unable to talk to the girls directly, but have been told they are "alive and well and helping organize evacuation efforts." 

"That's my girls. We now know that they are safe and unharmed," she added. 

It is believed the sisters are now among hundreds evacuating Barbuda as yet another storm, Hurricane Jose, looks to be heading towards the island. 

Asha, a former Miss Antigua who works as a local counselor, had been helping with emergency procedures before Hurricane Irma hit. 

"They had boarded up the house that my sister had just finished building with wood and stocked up on water. They are always well prepared for storms in Barbuda,” Bolton said. “It's a brick house and hopefully stood some of the storm." 

The girls' parents, Mackenzie and Claire Frank, are currently in Britain, having come over for a summer break. 

The family has launched a fundraising page to pay for a satellite phone so that the island has communication. They have set a modest target of just £5,000, or $6,600, but say if anything more is raised it will go towards helping Barbudans rebuild their lives via the local council. 

To support the fund, visit gofundme.com/barbuda-hurricane-fund.

This article originally appeared on SWNS.