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Deadly Hurricane Irma Hits The Caribbean

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An extremely dangerous Hurricane Irma pounded tiny northern Caribbean islands Wednesday morning as one of the strongest storms recorded in the Atlantic — and is on a path to hit parts of the British Virgin Islands and perhaps skirt northern Puerto Rico later in the day.

Irma’s core, with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph — well above the 157 mph threshold of a Category 5 — slammed Barbuda early Wednesday before hitting St. Martin and Anguilla.
Virginia Barreras told CNN she was riding out the storm in a hotel in tiny St. Martin, an island of about 75,000 people.

“The palm trees are bent over and (I) can’t see anything but white,” she said early Wednesday, before Irma’s core passed over the island. “The walls shake when the wind blows hard, and we can hear debris being thrown around.
The Category 5 hurricane is “potentially catastrophic,” the National Hurricane Center said. Besides devastating winds, the center warns of high storm surges that could crush low-lying structures near shore.
Though Irma’s path is uncertain, forecasters have said it could turn toward Florida over the weekend, and officials there are ordering some evacuations and shutting down schools.

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