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The big one hits: Hurricane Irma strikes the Caribbean

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Hurricane Irma

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The big one hits

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With winds reaching 185 miles (300km) per hour, Hurricane Irma—one of the four strongest Atlantic storms in recorded history—slammed into the eastern Caribbean on September 6th. It first struck Barbuda, damaging 95% of buildings. Gaston Browne, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, said the island of 1,600 people was now “barely habitable”. On St Martin, Irma destroyed the Caribbean’s third-largest airport. The storm’s eye then passed north of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Nine people have been reported dead, and the toll is expected to rise. Forecasting models predict that Irma will veer towards Florida, which has not been hit by a major hurricane in a decade, and local officials have issued …