Irma strengthens to Category 5 storm as it heads toward Caribbean

Hurricane Irma surpassed Hurricane Harvey in strength as it became a Category 5 storm Tuesday morning. Both Florida and Puerto Rico have declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm's arrival to their shores.
Hurricane from space Photo Credit: NASA/Reuters/Channel 2 News

Hurricane Irma, which is making its way to the Caribbean and possibly the US mainland, continues to gain strength. On Tuesday morning, the storm evolved from a Category 4 to a Category 5. The countries in the storm's projected path are starting to prepare for its impact. In Florida, a state of emergency was declared.

Hurricane warnings have been issued for Puerto Rico, the British and US Virgin Islands and the West Indies. According to the US National Hurricane Center, the storm could pose a life-threatening danger to the residents of the islands starting as early as tomorrow.

Experts believe that after hitting the Caribbean, Irma will head toward Florida. "In Florida, we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best, and while the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared," Florida Governor Rick Scott said in a statement.

While the National Hurricane Center has announced that it is too early to determine the storm's exact path, it is believed that Florida could begin to feel Irma's impact on Saturday.



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