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Hurricane Irma: What we know so far

HURRICANE: Police patrol the area as Hurricane Irma slams across islands in the northern Caribbean

- HURRICANE IRMA is continuing in Florida as it moves north of Tampa, but is losing strength and is set to be downgraded to a tropical storm later today (Sep 11). It was a category four storm when it first made landfall in the Florida Keys, but is now a category one hurricane with sustained windspeeds of 75mph.

- The most immediate threat from the storm is the possibility of storm surges. According to the NHC, the critical point could come at high tide and bring up to 15ft (4.5m) of water flooding inland in the Tampa area.

- Forecasters say they expect Irma’s centre to stay inland over Florida and then move into Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. It will weaken into a tropical storm over far northern Florida or southern Georgia on Monday (Sep 11) as it speeds up its forward motion.

- More 4.2 millions homes are without power in Florida. A police officer and prisoner officer were killed in a car crash in southern Florida thought to have been caused by the hurricane. Miami International Airport will remain closed until at least Tuesday. Three construction cranes have crashed to the ground in southern Florida.

- In the Caribbean, the premier of the British Virgin Islands, Orlando Smith, has asked for immediate aid from the British government to get the territories back on their feet after being devastated by Irma last week. He said the situation was “critical” and called for a “comprehensive package” to rebuild the islands.

- The clean-up operation is continuing in the Caribbean where it is thought 28 people have been killed.

- French president Emmanuel Macron has promised to visit the badly-hit French island of St Martin on Tuesday. Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said the death toll on the Dutch part of St. Martin had doubled to four, and that 70% of homes had been damaged or destroyed.

- UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has insisted Britain is doing all it can to help after facing fresh criticism from Britons stranded in the Caribbean. Johnson said 700 British troops were in the region, with UK police also arriving. The government has already set aside £32m in aid and will match public donations to the Red Cross appeal

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