Powerful Irma could affect 37 million, UN warns

At least seven people, including a two-year-old boy, have been killed so far by Irma, which is expected to hit Florida in the next few days. The UN announced Thursday morning that up to 37 million people could be affected by the powerful storm.

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Up to 37 million people could be affected by Hurricane Irma, the UN warned Thursday morning. According to Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne, the storm destroyed government buildings, ripped off the roofs of houses and left the islands without electricity and communication networks. He added that 95% of the buildings in Barbuda were flattened by Irma and about 60% of the residents are currently homeless.

In many countries that are in the projected path of Irma, such as the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, a state of emergency has been declared. Residents have been instructed to head to the hurricane shelters and stock up on vital supplies such as drinking water. In the US, a state of emergency has been declared in Florida and South Carolina. Irma is expected to hit the southern part of Florida early next week.

Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean Photo Credit: Sky News/Channel 2 News

There are two other hurricanes in the region at the moment. Hurricane Jose is further east than Irma and US officials are currently not concerned about it being an immediate threat to the mainland, though its path could change. Meanwhile, Hurricane Katia is developing in the Gulf of Mexico.  

US President Donald Trump mentioned the powerful hurricane in tweets yesterday. "Watching Hurricane closely," he wrote. "My team, which has done, and is doing, such a good job in Texas, is already in Florida. No rest for the weary!"

"Hurricane looks like largest ever recorded in the Atlantic!" he wrote in a different tweet. So far, at least seven people have been killed by Irma. Six people in the French part of St. Martin were killed and a two-year-old boy was killed in Barbuda.



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