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Tourists evacuate as Category 5 Hurricane Irma

Tourists evacuate as Category 5 Hurricane Irma

Officials in Florida’s Key West and popular Caribbean tourist islands ordered people to evacuate on Tuesday as Irma, a “potentially catastrophic” Category Five hurricane, was set to make landfall.

The monster hurricane coming on the heels of Harvey, which struck Texas and Louisiana late last month, is expected to hit a string of Caribbean islands including Guadeloupe late Tuesday before heading on to Haiti and Florida.The Miami-based National Hurricane Center said Irma had strengthened to the most powerful Category Five, packing sustained winds of 300 kilometers (185 miles) per hour.The front was moving west at 15 miles per hour and is expected to dump up to 50 centimeters (20 inches) of rain in some areas when it hits land.

“These rainfall amounts may cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” the NHC warned, calling the storm “potentially catastrophic” and urging that “preparations should be rushed to completion” in the region.The United Nations program UNICEF warned that Hurricane Irma may affect hundreds of thousands of children and their families in the Caribbean, urging governments in the region to help protect children from the storm.

National Guard and announced the opening of storm shelters able to house up to 62,000 people.A US aircraft carrier with a field hospital and dozens of aircraft able to conduct rescue or supply missions have been positioned in the area, according to Alejandro de la Campa of the Caribbean division of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Sherilyn Rodriguez of Rio Grande, 33, said. Nation News

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