By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Sept. 5, 2017: In Saint Martin, as residents monitor news of the threat of Hurricane Irma, many on some networking platforms are sharing a hurricane prayer.
“Our father who looks after us, protect us from this monster who threatens to destroy us…,” states the prayer, which many are urging others to share.
The prayers are going up as the category four storm moves closer to several Caribbean islands in the Leeward chain and others nearby. At 11 p.m. last night, Irma posed a threat to over 20 Caribbean islands as it is expected to strengthen during the next 48 hours.
A hurricane warning was issued by the National Hurricane Center in Miami for:
Saint Martin and
British Virgin Islands
U.S. Virgin Islands and,
Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra.
A hurricane watch was in effect for:
NHC forecasters urged the islands to rush preparations to completion.
On Monday afternoon, USVI Governor Kenneth E. Mapp advised residents and visitors to take action to protect lives and property during a news conference at Government House on St. Croix. Mapp declared a State of Emergency for effective 12:01 a.m. today, Tuesday, September 5th.
“We expect to be in the southern quadrant of this storm,” Governor Mapp said, noting that this could change as the storm progresses.
The effects of Hurricane Irma are expected to be felt in the U.S. Virgin Islands beginning Wednesday morning, with the eye of the storm predicted to be some 40 miles north of St. Thomas, resulting in potential winds as high as 80 miles per hour, with gusts possibly being higher.
A Tropical Storm Warning was put in effect for Guadeloupe while a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Dominica. The Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Cuba and central Bahamas were also urged to monitor the progress of Irma.
Hurricane conditions are expected within the hurricane warning area by tonight, with tropical storm conditions expected by late tonight. Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by late Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions possible by early Wednesday. Tropical Storm conditions are expected within the tropical storm warning area by late tonight.
Irma is moving toward the west near 13 mph and this general motion is expected to continue into today, followed by a turn toward the west-northwestward late tonight. On the forecast track, the center of Irma will move near or over portions of the northern Leeward Islands tonight and early Wednesday.
Reports from the Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum
sustained winds as of last night have increased to near 140 mph (220 km/h) with higher gusts expected.
Irma is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 3 to 6 inches across the Leeward Islands, with isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches across the northern Leeward Islands. These rainfall amounts may cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, the NHC said last night.