Update, 4:50 p.m.: Hurricane Irma may have destroyed popular airport
Hurricane Irma touched down on the island of St. Martin on Wednesday, and left much destruction behind. The Princess Juliana International Airport, one of the most popular airports in the world, seems to have been destroyed by the Hurricane.
Update, 1:01 p.m.: Hurricane Irma makes landfall and is already causing chaos
Hurricane Irma made landfall on islands in the Eastern Caribbean including St. Croix and Barbuda. Keithley Meade, director of a meteorological office in Antigua and Barbuda told CNN that damage to Barbuda was so severe that there had been no communication with the island.
On the same day it was upgraded to a Category 5 storm, Hurricane Irma made landfall in the northeast Caribbean.
“The National Hurricane Center said Irma was maintaining Category 5 strength with sustained winds near 185 mph (295 kmh) and heading west-northwest on a path toward Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before possibly heading for Florida over the weekend,” the Associated Press reported early on Wednesday morning.
Following Irma’s powerful impact on the northeast Caribbean, lawmakers in southern Florida have begun to call for mandatory evacuations. The National Hurricane Center described Irma as a “catastrophic” storm that was capable of taking life.
According to storm trajectories, Irma will soon hit Puerto Rico and Cuba. Despite reports that it would hit Florida early on Sunday morning, the National Hurricane Center indicated that it was too early to tell when it would impact Florida or how powerful the storm would be.
Like Hurricane Harvey before it, Hurricane Irma has been so powerful that it is registering on seismometers typically used to measure the strength of earthquakes.
By Wednesday morning, many Americans had been struck by hurricane fever, including President Donald Trump.
“Watching Hurricane closely. My team, which has done, and is doing, such a good job in Texas, is already in Florida. No rest for the weary!” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Hurricane looks like largest ever recorded in the Atlantic!”