The most powerful Atlantic storm in recorded history has ripped through a number of northeast Caribbean islands, leaving 8 people dead in its wake.
UPDATE, Thurs Sept 7: 10 people have now been confirmed dead as Hurricane Irma makes its way towards the Bahamas, Haiti and Dominican Republic. More than a million people in Puerto Rico have been left without power as the Category 5 hurricane raged nearby.
EARLIER: Today, images are emerging from the ravaged isle of Barbuda, one of the first places to be struck by Hurricane Irma. The country's Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, says that 95 per cent of the island's buildings have been completely levelled. It has been confirmed that a 2-year-old infant on Barbuda has died in the storm. Irma then wreaked havoc on St Maarten and St Barts, leaving at least 7 people dead.
The Category 5 hurricane is roughly the size of Texas, bringing with it winds of up to 180mph. Irma passed directly over Barbuda yesterday and has left the 1,800 residents largely without a means of communication after it knocked over telecomms towers.
This morning, Irma's eye is just north of the Puerto Rican coast and is battering the island with heavy rain and intense winds, leaving more than 900,000 people without power.
— Theworldface (@the_worldface) September 6, 2017
On St Maarten's, the Princess Juliana International Airport has been completely destroyed. The airport was well known for planes flying low over the heads of beach-goers.
— Bondtehond (@Bondtehond) September 6, 2017
#TheyLostTheirWholeIsland #IrmaWipedItOffTheMap #PrayersForBARBUDA #HurricaneIrma barrels through the #Caribbean, claiming at least 3 lives while in the U.S., #Florida, #Georgia and #SouthCarolina are facing states of emergency as residents brace for the monster storm. * The storm -- called "#ExtremelyDangerous" by the #NationalHurricaneCenter (#NHC) -- currently has sustained winds of #185mph and even higher gusts. * On #Wednesday afternoon, #Irma was battering the Caribbean, destroying about 90 percent of the #structures and #vehicles on #Barbuda, the #PrimeMister said the island of 1,800 residence is now #uninhabitable...!!! - #DramatizedDaTrueSteppa aka @dramatized817 CEO of @dramatized_records & @dramatized_recording_group plus artist at @4535musicdistribution ---------- #WARNING #PEOPLE #GOD1st #HELP #US #REDCROSS
Yesterday, a NOAA plane flew through the eye of Hurricane Irma. You can see the footage below.
— NOAAHurricaneHunters (@NOAA_HurrHunter) September 5, 2017
Irma is currently set for the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands. The UN has estimated around 37 million people could be impacted by the hurricane. States of emergency have been declared in Puerto Rico, Cuba and Florida – where it is feared Irma will directly hit Miami.
— Paola Chavez (@Pao1aChavez) September 6, 2017
Space station cameras have captured footage of Irma and the below footage puts into perspective the hurricane's size. This video was recorded yesterday as Irma made landfall in the Caribbean.
— NASA (@NASA) September 6, 2017
Keep up to date with Hurricane Irma's track and forecast intensity, HERE.
Cover image: NOAA