The Caribbean is on high alert as Hurricane Irma continues to bear down on several islands churning west towards the US mainland.
With winds of up to 220 kilometers per hour the increasingly menacing storm has now been upgraded to a powerful category four. That has raised fears it could be even stronger than Hurricane Harvey, which recently devastated large parts of Texas.
Irma’s exact path is still unclear, but she is expected to hit the Leeward Islands first, before moving on to Puerto Rico and US and British Virgin Islands.
The storm is then predicted to turn its wrath on Florida, where a state of emergency has already been declared.
The US National Hurricane Center has said Irma is likely to strengthen even further in the next 48 hours.
— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) 5 septembre 2017
Officials are warning of up to 25 cm of rainfall in some northern areas.
Both Texas and Louisiana are still reeling from the flooding inflicted by Harvey last month. It dumped several metres of rain, destroying thousands of homes and businesses.