‘May God Protect Us All’: Catastrophic Hurricane Irma Batters The Caribbean And Heads To Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,

A historical mass evacuations is underway in America and across the Caribbean islands after Hurricane Irma slammed into the Caribbean with 185mph winds as aid agencies braced for a ‘major humanitarian response’.America’s National Hurricane Center said Irma had strengthened into a dangerous Category 5 storm as it made its first landfall in islands of northeast Caribbean on a path that could take it to the United States – causing thousands to start panic buying and preparing to evacuate.This morning, the eye of the ‘potentially catastrophic’ hurricane – estimated to be the size of France – lashed Barbuda just hours after officials warned people to seek protection from Irma’s ‘onslaught’ in a statement that closed with: ‘May God protect us all.’ Heavy rain and howling winds from the hurricane – measured as the most powerful ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean – raked the neighbouring island of Antigua, sending debris flying as people huddled in their homes or government shelters. The island of Anguilla is next in its path.U.S. President Donald Trump declared emergencies in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and authorities in the Bahamas said they would evacuate the residents of six islands at the southern end of the island chain. Experts say Irma is now so powerful it is registering on devices designed to detect earthquakes. Scientists picked up the background noise of winds causing trees to move and crashing ocean waves on their earthquake-detecting seismometers. It is expected to become the second powerful storm to thrash the U.S. mainland in as many weeks after devastating Hurricane Harvey. A mandatory evacuation is under way in the Florida Keys.Photo Credit: Getty


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