Adding to the flurry of extreme storms sweeping the world in recent weeks is Hurricane Irma, a category 5 hurricane which made landfall in the Caribbean at approximately 1.47am local time.
The highest category hurricane possible, Irma lashed the Caribbean islands of Barbuda and Antigua with life-threatening winds of 290km/h and intense rains. The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said Irma is “the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic outside the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico in NHC records.” The organisation urged people located in warning areas to batten the hatches and prepare for the worst.
As Texas recovers from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, Irma will batter more of the Southern United States when it hits Florida this weekend. The region has declared a state of emergency in advance, and a compulsory evacuation has been ordered for residents of the Key West region.
President Donald Trump tweeted that he was watching Irma closely. “My team, which has done, and is doing, such a good job in Texas, is already in Florida,” he wrote.