Hurricane Irma is now a dangerous Category 5 storm – the most powerful seen in the Atlantic in over a decade. And it’s now barrelling toward the Caribbean and southern United States. Irma threatens deadly winds of up to 285 kph, as well as storm surges and flooding.
In Pembroke Pines, Florida, residents stocked up on emergency supplies, hoping to be prepared when Irma’s effects are felt.
NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) September 5, 2017
People waited in long lines for petrol and groceries – all too aware of the destruction the storm could bring.
The US states of Texas and Louisiana were pummeled by Category 4 Hurricane Harvey at the end of August, leaving towns and cities devastated by flooding and winds.
The US National Hurricane Center said there was a growing possibility that the storm’s effects could be felt in Florida later this week and over the weekend (September 10), though it was still too early to be sure of its future track.
Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for all of Florida and mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for visitors in Miami and the Florida Keys.
The Caribbean territory of Puerto Rico is also under a state of emergency and has activated the national guard.