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Photo courtesy of NASA on September 5, 2017, which shows an image acquired by the NASA / NOAA Suomi joint satellite of the National Association of Polar Orbiting (NPP) of Hurricane Irma as it approaches the Leeward Islands east of Puerto Rico in the Atlantic Ocean, on September 4, 2017. EFE / NASA / NOAA SUOMI NPP
Photo courtesy of NASA on September 5, 2017, which shows an image acquired by the NASA / NOAA Suomi joint satellite of the National Association of Polar Orbiting (NPP) of Hurricane Irma as it approaches the Leeward Islands east of Puerto Rico in the…

Hurricane Irma rises to category 5 and alerts the entire Caribbean

Authorities from the Leeward Islands, British and US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are preparing to host one of the biggest tropical storms of recent years.

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With winds described as "potentially catastrophic" and capable of uprooting trees, Hurricane Irma has strengthened as it travels across the Caribbean to the Gulf of Mexico and the south of United States at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour.

According to Forbes, the National Hurricane Center determined that Irma's winds reach up to 280 kilometers per hour, which lists it at the highest level of the Saffir-Simpson scale and is expected to land tonight north of the Islands of Leeward, in the Lesser Antilles.

Given the speed of its growth and displacement, Florida's state governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency on Monday waiting for the hurricane to hit the south of the peninsula next weekend, the BBC reported.

The governments of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and the Bahamas have adopted similar measures.

As the report explains, in less than a week Irma has gone from being a tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane, and fears that its effect could be linked to Hurricane Harvey, which has caused serious flooding and loss in Texas.

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