Hurricane Irma: Most powerful Atlantic hurricane in history makes first landfall in Caribbean

Hurricane Irma: Most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane makes first landfall in Caribbean

Hurricane Irma has now made landfall

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Hurricane Irma has become the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history and has made its first landfall in the Caribbean.

The National Weather Service said that the hurricane passed over Barbuda around 1.47am this morning (September 6).

On local radio residents told of how their phone lines cut out as the eye of the storm passed over, according to The Independent.

Antigua has also been affected by the weather as the island has been hit with heavy rain and strong winds. People are sheltering in their homes or in government shelters as debris is blown around the streets.

Officials had warned the public earlier to protect themselves from the "onslaught" and added "may God protect us all."

The hurricane is expected to travel towards Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before potentially moving to Florida during the weekend.

It is thought that the most dangerous winds near the eye will pass over the northern Virgin Islands as well as north of Puerto Rico later.

Hurricane Irma is currently maintaining winds of nearly 185 mph, meaning it is still at category 5.

Forecasts from the National Hurricane Centre suggest winds may fluctuate, however the storm is expected to continue at category 4 or 5 during the next day or two.

Waves reaching 11 feet are expected to to hit the northern Leeward Islands later this week, but the Caicos Islands and south-eastern Bahamas could be hit with 20-foot waves.

The storm could also hit theĀ US and British Virgin Islands as well as Anguilla, which is a British island territory where roughly 15,000 people live.

Those living in the six southern islands of the Bahamas are being evacuated. Emergencies have been declared by Donald Trump in Puerto Rico, Florida and the US Virgin Islands.