Hurricane Irma Packing 185-Mph Winds, Makes Landfall In Caribbean

Hurricane Irma is already one for the record books. As a Category 5 with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour, Irma now ranks among the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded. Irma has sustained these 185 mph winds for more than 24 hours, a record length of time. And it’s one of the most powerful cyclones to ever make landfall.

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The strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic – left a trail of deadly devastation through the Caribbean when it struck on Wednesday on a potential collision course with south Florida. Barbuda and St Martin suffered the storm’s full fury with roughly 95 percent of properties damaged on both islands.

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The island, which is divided between the Netherlands and France, was left without drinking water or electricity, and the death toll is expected to rise. Barbuda, part of the twin island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, also suffered ‘absolute devastation’ with more than 90 per cent of dwellings completely destroyed and one child killed.

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A Map Of The Region With The Storm’s Path Highlighting Nearby Islands.

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Hurricane Irma Is Already Tied For The 3rd Strongest Storm To Make Landfall In Recorded History, Anywhere On Earth.

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Hurricane Irma destroyed 90 percent of the tiny island of Barbuda when it made landfall early on Wednesday. The Caribbean island was reduced to rubble, according to its Prime Minister Gaston Browne

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St Martin also suffered the storm’s full fury with roughly 95 percent of properties damaged. At least six people died on the French part of St Martin a pristine resort known for its vibrant nightlife

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Irma passed to the north of Puerto Rico late on Wednesday night lashing it with heavy rain and powerful winds. Rescue crews are pictured above investigating a flooded car in Fajardo, Puerto Rico

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Hurricane Irma started hammering Puerto Rico with 185mph winds late on Wednesday as it followed a projected path that would see it hit the northern edges of the Dominican Republic and Haiti

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The majority of Barbuda’s buildings were flattened when Hurricane Irma battered the tiny island with a population of 1,600

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The deadly category 5 Hurricane Irma – the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic made its first landfall early morning, pummeling Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and sparking a ‘major humanitarian crisis’

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Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said the hurricane had destroyed about 90 percent of structures and vehicles in Barbuda. A resident is pictured above examining his damaged home in in St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda

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Boats piled up as the eye of Hurricane Irma passed over Tortola in British Virgin Islands

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The eye of the storm passed almost directly over the island of Barbuda early before heading towards Puerto Rico

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Fallen trees block a street in Fajardo, Puerto Rico as Hurricane Irma howled past after thrashing several Caribbean islands

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A rescue team from the local emergency management agency inspects flooded areas after Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on Wednesday night in Fajardo, Puerto Rico

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Members of the civil defense run as Hurricane Irma howls past Puerto Rico

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Even before the storm hit Puerto Rico, it churned up winds strong enough to down trees, like the one above

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Yanina Lopez took cover at an emergency center as Hurricane Irma approached Puerto Rico

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Hotels were flooded and cars submerged as floods hit coastal areas during hurricane-force winds on St Martin overnight

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Flooding and strong winds on the island of St Martin in the Caribbean destroyed about 95 per cent of the buildings

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This was the scene of devastation on St Martin after fierce winds and flooding destroyed buildings and swamped roads

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Huge metal objects were flipped over, buildings were flooded and people were left trapped in buildings as the hurricane struck on St Martin

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Hurricane Irma has wreaked havoc after pummeling exotic Caribbean islands with 185mph winds on its devastating march towards the US east coast. This was the scene on St Martin

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Hurricane rescue teams evaluated the damage at Juliana Airport in St Martin after the storm passed

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Inside the airport, which lies on the Dutch side of Saint Martin island, the check-in lounge was flooded and walkways were damaged by the storm

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Huge rocks smashed into planes, and boarding walkways were slammed to the ground by the downpour of rain and gusts of wind, which also brought loads of sand on to the runway

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Warm water is fuel for hurricanes and Irma was moving over water that was 1.8 degrees warmer than normal. The above heat map shows the water temperatures in the path of Hurricane Irma

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The most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history made its first landfall in the islands of the northeast Caribbean early Wednesday, churning along a path pointing to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before possibly heading for Florida over the weekend

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Social media videos show how the hurricane lashed the coastline of Saint Martin overnight with cars submerged in water. This picture is believed to have been taken at the Beach Plaza hotel on the island

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Fishermen remove their wooden boat from the sea as a precaution against Hurricane Irma, in the seaside slum of Port-au-Prince, Haiti

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Members of the Civil Defense make preparations in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, as Hurricane Irma slammed across islands in the northern Caribbean

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Children in a low-income neighborhood carry containers for water as Hurricane Irma slammed across islands in the northern Caribbean on Wednesday, in Santo Domingo

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The windows of a migrations office are covered with wooden planks due to the imminent arrival of Hurricane Irma in the Dominican Republic

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A handout picture released on the twitter account of RCI Guadeloupe shows damage on the French overseas island of Saint-Martin

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Dramatic pictures have started to emerge on social media showing the scale of the flooding on St Martin

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Police patrol the area as Hurricane Irma slams across islands in the northern Caribbean on Wednesday, in San Juan, Puerto Rico

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This was the scene at Port de Gustavia on the island of Saint Barthelemy overnight as the storm started to lash the coastline

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People buy groceries at a local supermarket in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, as Hurricane Irma takes aim at the Caribbean island

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Eduardo Soriano of Miami, waits in a line since dawn to purchase plywood sheets at a Home Depot store in North Miami

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Motorists wait in line to fill their vehicles with gas as they prepare for Hurricane Irma on Wednesday in Key Largo, Florida. The Florida Keys are currently under mandatory evacuation

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In preparation of Hurricane Irma, residents of Boca Raton line up for propane

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Miami residents shopping on Wednesday made sure to load their carts with bottled water and other supplies to last through the storm

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An employee restocks bottled water on bare shelves as customers look on at a Publix grocery store in Surfside, Florida

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Residents purchase water at BJ Wholesale in preparation for Hurricane Irma in Miami, Florida

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Jesse Dewey fills sandbags at a public works site as he prepares for Hurricane Irma

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Alex, left, and Cynthia Stone, of Maitland, Fla. load plywood on the roof of their vehicle as they prepare for Hurricane Irma

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British billionaire Richard Branson enjoys a game of Perudo with staff as Hurricane Irma speeds towards his Necker Island home

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Branson said his whole staff slept together in two rooms, but the Virgin boss was happy to weather ‘possibly the strongest storm ever’ with a ‘great group of young people’

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On Necker Island we have constructed really strong buildings that should be able to handle extreme weather pretty well, though with a Category 5 hurricane almost nothing can withstand it

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People put boards on their windows as part of preparations for arrival of Hurricane Irma at the Carribean island

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The businessman also took the opportunity to discuss the need to support the Paris agreement on clean energy. Pictured: Necker Island

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Hurricane Irma rages across Caribbean island of Saint Martin island

 

Hurricane Irma takes hold in St. Martin with devastating floods

 

Hurricane Irma destroys this residential area in Anguilla

 

Hurricane Irma strikes Beach Plaza hotel in Saint Martin

 

Inside Hurricane Irma: Plane flies through eye of the storm

source : dailymail.co.uk, vox.com

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