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Irma ???? Continues to Destroy People and Islands!

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Staring into oblivion: Bahamas and Turks and Caicos brace for impact as Hurricane Irma powers on after laying waste to the Caribbean and killing at least 13 on her deadly path to the US

'Monster' Hurricane Irma is expected to make landfall in the Turks and Caicos islands Thursday evening into early Friday

The category 5 storm has killed at least 13 so far: Eight on St. Martin, three in Puerto Rico, one in Barbuda and one in Anguilla 

Extensive damage has been reported on Barbuda and St Martin, with more than 90 per cent of buildings damaged on both islands  

Some 900,000 people are without power on Puerto Rico and at least 50,000 people are without water 

The hurricane is expected to continue past eastern Cuba before veering north for Florida at the weekend

Red Cross said it is preparing for 'a major humanitarian response' as UN estimated 49million will be affected

Mandatory evacuations were ordered in the Florida Keys and parts of Miami as the scale of the storm emerged

The Turks and Caicos are bracing for impact today as Hurricane Irma powers on after laying waste to the Caribbean and killing at least 13 people on her deadly path to the U.S.

The powerful category five storm is expected to make landfall in the British oversees territory Thursday night, into Friday morning.

Eight people have been killed in the storm so far: Eight on the French/Dutch island of St. Martin, three in Puerto Rico and the islands of Anguilla and Barbuda recorded a death each.  

By early Thursday afternoon, the hurricane was north of the Dominican Republic, where authorities reported some flooding and the evacuation of several thousand locals and tourists but no serious damage or casualties.

Skies over the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, were still clear just after noon local time. About a million people were without power in Puerto Rico after Irma sideswiped the island, but the damage was nothing compared to the smaller islands that were first hit by the storm.   

More than 90 per cent of all properties on the islands and Barbuda and St Martin were destroyed in the storm, leaving thousands homeless.

On Barbuda, more than 90 per cent of buildings were damaged when the hurricane's core crossed almost directly over the island early Wednesday - resulting in the death of a child. About 60 per cent of its roughly 1,400 residents were left homeless, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne told The Associated Press.

'It is just really a horrendous situation,' Browne said. He said roads and telecommunications systems were wrecked and recovery would take months, if not years. A two-year-old child was killed as a family tried to escape a damaged home during the storm, Browne said.

In Anguilla, officials reported extensive damage to the airport, hospitals, shelters and schools and said 90 per cent of roads were impassable. 

Photos and video of St. Martin circulating on social media showed major damage to the Philipsburg airport and heavy flooding in the coastal village of Marigot. 

While the storm passed just north of Puerto Rico on Wednesday, the U.S. territory island suffered three deaths in the storm. 

More than half the island is still without power as well, leaving more than 900,000 in the dark and 50,000 without water. 

Fourteen hospitals on the island have resorted to backup generators thanks to the winds which knocked power lines down.

Puerto Rico's public power company warned before the storm hit that some areas could be left without power from four to six months because its staff has been reduced and its infrastructure weakened by the island's financial crisis.

President Donald Trump approved an emergency declaration for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, allowing federal agencies to step in and provide aid. 

This morning, the United Nations said up to 49 million people are in the hurricane's path as aid agencies prepare for a 'major humanitarian response'. France, the Netherlands and Britain have sent water, emergency rations and rescue teams to their stricken territories. 

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said 100,000 food rations were sent to St. Barts and St. Martin, the equivalent of four days of supplies.

'It's a tragedy, we'll need to rebuild both islands,' he said. 'Most of the schools have been destroyed.' 

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the storm 'caused wide-scale destruction of infrastructure, houses and businesses.'

'There is no power, no gasoline, no running water. Houses are under water, cars are floating through the streets, inhabitants are sitting in the dark, in ruined houses and are cut off from the outside world,' he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron's office said he would go to the islands as soon as the weather permits it. Saying he was 'grief-stricken,' Macron called for concerted efforts to tackle global warming to prevent similar natural disasters.

A Dutch navy ship arrived in St. Martin with vital supplies. And two Dutch military aircraft were being sent the island of Curacao and on to St. Martin to deliver food and water intended to last the population of 40,000 five days. The aircraft were carrying 100 extra troops to deliver aid, repair infrastructure and restore order.

Meanwhile, residents on the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla said the island was 'utterly devastated' and looked as though it had 'suffered nuclear bomb devastation' while shocking videos have emerged showing the scale of the devastation in the British Virgin Islands. 

The U.K. government says Irma has inflicted 'severe and in places critical' damage to the British overseas territory of Anguilla. Foreign Office Minister Alan Duncan says the Caribbean island took the full force of the category 5 hurricane.

He told lawmakers on Thursday that the British Virgin islands have also suffered 'severe damage.' On another British territory, Monsterrat, the damage is 'not as severe as first thought.'

Duncan said the hurricane is expected to hit another British overseas territory, Turks and Caicos, later today. 

Britain was sending hundreds of troops and the Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean to Anguilla, Montserrat and the British Virgin Islands. 













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