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Hurricane Irma slams into Caribbean, prompts Florida Keys evacuations

Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, made landfall in the Caribbean Islands early Wednesday causing flooding and destruction. Now, Puerto Rico and Florida brace for impact.
hurricane irma, puerto rico, florida
Hurricane Irma is reported to be the most powerful Atlantic storm in a century. Credit: NOAA

In the wake of a devastating hurricane that brought massive flooding to Texas, all eyes are now on Hurricane Irma, a category 5 storm which meteorologists say is the most powerful Atlantic tempest in a century.

Hurricane Irma blew across the northern Caribbean islands on Wednesday and is expected to hit Puerto Rico next, and possibly southern Florida this weekend. On Wednesday morning, Florida Governor Rick Scott said evacuation orders would go into effect in the Florida Keys by the evening. Scott also urged residents to stock up on essentials.

"I'm asking everybody as you get prepared, three days of water per person, three days of food. Take enough but take only what you need, don't take more," he said.

Just last week, Hurricane Harvey pummeled Texas, killing more than 60 people and causing an estimated $180 billion in damages. According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami, Irma could hit Florida on Saturday, bringing with it winds of 185 miles per hour. 

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Meteorologists have reported that Irma's wrath is so strong, it's being detected by technology used to measure earthquakes. Photos posted on social media shows severe flooding in St. Maarten.

Reuters contributed to this report.