US Puerto Rico declares state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Irma

22:47  04 september  2017
22:47  04 september  2017 Source:

Eastern Caribbean battens down as Hurricane Irma approaches

  Eastern Caribbean battens down as Hurricane Irma approaches <p>Government workers on the islands of the eastern Caribbean are clearing drains and pruning trees as authorities urge residents to prepare for Hurricane Irma, a Category 3 storm likely to begin buffeting that area Tuesday.</p>The Antigua and Barbuda weather service said Irma was expected to bring heavy rains, rough surf and high winds. Hurricane watches were posted for Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Monserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Martin, Guadeloupe and the British Virgin Islands.

Hurricane Irma strengthened into a highly dangerous Category 5 storm on Tuesday as it barreled toward the Caribbean and the southern United States , threatening deadly winds, storm surges and flooding as Texas and Louisiana was still reeling from devastating Hurricane Harvey.

Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Monday for the entire state ahead of Hurricane Irma . Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló declared a state of emergency earlier on Monday.

Satellite image of Tropical Storm Irma pictured here in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean © REUTERS Satellite image of Tropical Storm Irma pictured here in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló on Monday declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard in preparation for the landfall of Irma, a dangerous Category 3 hurricane.

"Despite the economic challenges Puerto Rico is facing, the approved budget has $15 million for the emergency fund," Rosselló said in a statement.

Irma, which is forecast to strengthen on Tuesday night, is set hit the U.S. territory on Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

To help residents prepare for the storm, the Puerto Rican government activated a price freeze on basic necessities, including food and water, medicines, power generators and batteries.

The storm will be the second powerful hurricane to thrash the United States and its territories in as many weeks.

Residents in Texas and Louisiana are still reeling from the devastating effects of the deadly Hurricane Harvey, which dumped several feet of rain and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses when it landed last week.

(Reporting by Alana Wise; Editing by Sandra Maler and Nick Zieminski)

Jihadists celebrate devastation of Hurricane Irma .
<p>Supporters of the radical Islamist groups are sharing messages celebrating the catastrophic trail by the natural disaster.</p>As Hurricane Irma barrels toward Cuba and makes its way onward to Florida, the region is in panic. But there is one group that is rejoicing: jihadists, specifically supporters of the Islamic State militant group and Al-Qaeda.

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