People are still recovering from the last hurricane in the hurricane season, Harvey, which hit Houston on August 26th, and here are some of the devastating results of it in pictures. But, apparently, Harvey was not the strongest one to come, as hurricane Irma has turned into a Category 5, becoming the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin outside the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, Irma is the strongest tropical cyclone worldwide so far. Irma has become so strong it’s registering seismic activity on devices designed to pick up earthquakes. How did this happen? Fast and impossible to forget.
The devices started picking up the activity on Tuesday, September 5, when Irma rose to a category five storm.
Then, the worst expected happened to the Carribean islands. Hurricane Irma howled past Puerto Rico on Wednesday after thrashing several smaller islands with tree-snapping winds, drenching rains and pounding surf on a collision course with Florida. Irma destroyed almost 90% of the island of Barbuda, which has a population of 1,800 people.
Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne said to the media: “Barbuda is literally rubble. The entire housing stock was damaged. It is just total devastation.”
As Irma hit the Caribbean, with winds of 185mph that sounded almost like a freight train, buildings were utterly destroyed and hotels were flooded. The hurricane is now preparing to head to Florida. People are preparing for a potential direct strike.
The eye of Irma was passing north of Puerto Rico late on Wednesday. It hit the island’s San Juan with heavy downpours and strong winds that scattered tree limbs.
“The winds that we are experiencing right now are like nothing we have experienced before,” Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello told CNN.
So far seven deaths have been reported from hurricane Irma.
The cause of Irma is thought to be unusually warm waters over the Atlantic. The President has declared states of emergency in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Authorities warned that the storm could cause a deluge of 10 inches of rain, causing landslides and flash floods. There are also expected to be waves of up to 23 feet.
Florida Governor Rick Scott declared an emergency in all 67 counties of the state.
“Hurricane Irma is a major and life-threatening storm and Florida must be prepared. 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”.
“Today, given these forecasts and the intensity of this storm, I have declared a state of emergency for every county in Florida to make certain that state, federal and local governments are able to work together and make sure resources are dispersed to local communities as we get prepared for this storm”.
Authorities have been telling people to evacuate as they shouldn’t stay while Irma is in full effect.
In Puerto Rico, a 75-year-old man died during preparations, reports the BBC.
As for now, it is not clear whether Irma will make its way to the US mainland. If that happens, it will be the first time the US has been struck with two category four hurricanes in one season.