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Rediff.com  » News » Irma headed for Bahamas after battering Caribbean, at least 10 killed

Irma headed for Bahamas after battering Caribbean, at least 10 killed

September 08, 2017 09:09 IST

IMAGE: A man walks among debris as Hurricane Irma moves off the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, in Nagua, Dominican Republic, on Thursday. Photograph: Ricardo Rojas/Reuters

The most powerful Category 5 Hurricane Irma has killed at least 10 people across a number of Carribean islands, according to the Independent.

Florida is on high alert and has ordered evacuations, while the Carolinas and Georgia have also declared emergencies.

The evacuation of coastal areas of Florida and neighboring Georgia was the biggest seen in the US in a dozen years, as Brock Long, head of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, warned: "It will be truly devastating. The entire southeastern United States better wake up and pay attention."

 

One of the strongest storms ever recorded has caused widespread destruction and number of casualties in northern Caribbean islands specially Barbuda, which has been 'literally reduced to a rubble'.

Earlier, three deaths were reported and there were fears of more fatalities.

The most powerful hurricane ever recorded over Atlantic Ocean battered Barbuda, St Martin and Puerto Rico as it moved west with category 5 packing devastating winds and rain and left 60 per cent of the islands' population homeless.

The communication has been disrupted totally after winds snapped a cell tower in two on the island and the Barbuda residents are living under harsh conditions with no water supply and electricity.

After slamming St Martin, Anguilla and St Kitts and Nevis, the storm was expected to move near the British Virgin Islands and northern US Virgin Islands.

The storm's centre was then expected to pass near or just north of Puerto Rico on Wednesday afternoon and evening.

"Barbuda right now is literally a rubble," CNN quoted Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda as saying after Hurricane Irma left a trail of 'absolute devastation' across the tiny Caribbean island.

The Caribbean is a region that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands.

The region is south-east of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.

Irma damaged Barbuda's lone airport, which will now force officials to ferry supplies by boat and helicopter from Antigua. Browne estimated rebuilding would cost about $100 million.

"The entire housing stock was damaged," Browne said, after visiting the island of 1,800.

"It is just a total devastation."

The storm is expected to pass just north of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, bringing hurricane force winds to northern sections of the island, likely causing mudslides and flooding.

In its westward rampage, Irma packed winds of up to 295 kilometers per hour, an intensity that it sustained for 33 hours -- the longest of any storm since satellite monitoring began in the 1970s.

The latest bulletin from the Miami-based National Hurricane Center put the winds at 175 mph as the storm headed for the Bahamas.

In the Bahamas, emergency evacuations have been ordered for six southern islands -- Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Cay and Ragged Island.

The International Red Cross said 1.2 million people had already been hit by Irma, a number that could rise to 26 million.

With agency inputs

Source: ANI