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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Hurricane Irma: Atlantic's most powerful hurricane ever makes landfall in Caribbean


The most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history has made its first landfall on the islands of the northeast Caribbean, following a path predicted to hit Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before possibly heading for Florida over the weekend.
predicted to hit Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before possibly heading for Florida over the weekend.

Live Hurricane Irma: flooding and blackouts on St Martin as winds destroy sturdiest buildings - live
Most powerful hurricane ever recorded over Atlantic Ocean batters Caribbean islands as it moves west with category 5 winds and rains
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The eye of Hurricane Irma passed over Barbuda at about 1.47am local time, the National Weather Service said. Residents said over the local radio that phone lines had gone down. Heavy rain and howling winds hit the neighbouring island of Antigua, sending debris flying as people huddled in their homes or government shelters.

Officials warned people to seek protection from Irma’s “onslaught” in a statement that closed with: “May God protect us all.”

In Barbuda, the storm ripped off the roof of the island’s police station, forcing officers to seek refuge in the nearby fire station and at a community centre serving as an official shelter. It also knocked out communication between islands.

Irma then slammed into the islands of Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin, causing major flooding in low-lying areas.

Coastlines are being “battered extremely violently” by the sea, the French weather office said, adding: “These islands are suffering major impacts.”

As the category 5 storm approached French-run Saint Barthélemy, a favourite jet-setters’ destination also known as St Barts, the office measured winds of 151 mph (244km/h). Its monitoring equipment has since been destroyed by the hurricane, it said.

Officials had on Monday ordered the evacuation of 11,000 people living in affected areas on both islands, which began in many neighbourhoods on Tuesday.

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