Caribbean braces for Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma is moving closer to the Caribbean, strengthening to a category 5 storm with wind speeds of 175 mph.

The National Weather Service issued a warning stating that tropical storm conditions were expected in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico early on Wednesday, with hurricane conditions arriving later in the day.

Other Caribbean islands under hurricane warnings include the British Virgin Islands, Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Martin and St. Barts.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in all of the state’s 67 counties. “Hurricane Irma is a major and life-threatening storm and Florida must be prepared,” he said.

“I have continued to be briefed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management on Hurricane Irma and current forecast models have Florida in Irma’s path – potentially impacting millions of Floridians.”

Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló also declared a state of emergency, with CNN reporting that the National Guard was activated on Monday. Many businesses are closed, while classes have been cancelled at public schools and the University of Puerto Rico.

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