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Now Category 5 Hurricane Irma Threatens the Caribbean and Florida

Hurricane nightmare continues in the United States. Just days after Hurricane Harvey devastated large areas of Texas, another hurricane - now Category 5 - Irma is threatening to hit the Caribbean and Florida.

hurrican irma map0917

The storm is life-threatening for the United States, including Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and the southeastern Bahamas. Hurricane warnings have been issued for the northern Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a statewide emergency in response to Hurricane Irma. Scott wrote to President Trump on Tuesday and asked him to declare a pre-landfall emergency in Florida, warning that Irma may require large-scale evacuations.

According to reports from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 185 mph (295 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is an extremely dangerous category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days.

Image credit: National Hurricane Center

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