The category five hurricane has ripped through the Caribbean, leaving flattened landscapes, flash flood and loss of life
Antigua and Barbuda
Barbuda, the first island to feel the force of Hurricane Irma was devastated by its high winds, with Gaston Browne, prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, saying 90% of houses had been destroyed and 50% of the people of around 1,000 people left homeless.
One person- a two-year-old child- is confirmed to have died in the storm. Michael Joseph, president of the Red Cross in Antigua and Barbuda told 😛 TAGEND
The devastation is not like we’ve ever seen before- we’re talking about the whole country … of Barbuda being significantly destroyed.
Critical facilities including roads and communications systems were ravaged, with the recovery endeavor set to take months or years. Some residents are expected to be evacuated to the larger sister island of Antigua- where injury was less severe- as part of relief efforts and ahead of the prospective arrival of Hurricane Jose this weekend.
Browne said he would order the evacuation of Barbuda if forecasters predict that Jose will hit the island in the coming days.
Leeward Islands of Antigua and Barbuda braced for category 5 cyclone, which then heads for Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and Florida
The most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history bear down on the islands of the north-east Caribbean on Tuesday night local period, following a path predicted to then rake Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before perhaps heading for Florida over the weekend.
At the far north-eastern edge of the Caribbean, authorities on the Leeward Islands of Antigua and Barbuda cut power and exhorted residents to shelter indoors as they braced for Hurricane Irma’s first contact with land early on Wednesday.
Officials warned people to attempt protection from Irma’s ” onslaught ” in a statement that closed with:” May God protect us all .”
The category 5 storm had maximum sustained winds of 185mph( 295 kph) by early Tuesday evening, according to the US National Hurricane Center( NHC) in Miami.
Category 5 hurricanes are rare and are capable of inflicting life-threatening gusts, blizzard upsurges and rainfall. Hurricane Harvey, which last week devastated Houston, was category 4.
” I hear it’s a Cat 5 now and I’m frightened ,” Antigua resident Carol Joseph said as she finished her last trip to the supermarket before seeking shelter.” I had to come back for more batteries because I don’t know how long the present will be off .”
Other islands in the path of the storm included the US and British Virgin Islands and Anguilla, a small, low-lying British island province of about 15,000 people.
US president Donald Trump declared emergencies in Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Warm water is gasoline for hurricanes and Irma is over water that is one degree celsius( 1.8 F) warmer than normal. The 26 C( 79 F) water that hurricanes need runs about 250 feet deep (8 0m ), told Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private forecasting service Weather Underground.
Four other cyclones have had gales as strong in the overall Atlantic region but they were in the Caribbean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico, which typically home to warmer waters that fuel tornadoes. Hurricane Allen reached 190 mph in 1980, while 2005′ s Wilma, 1988′ s Gilbert and a 1935 great Florida Key storm all had 185 mph winds.
The storm’s eye was expected to pass about 50 miles (8 0km) from Puerto Rico late on Wednesday. Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 60 miles( 95 km) from Irma’s centre and tropical storm-force winds extended outward up to 175 miles( 280 km ).