Irma remains an extremely dangerous category 5 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of nearly 295 km/h with higher gusts. It made its first landfall and hit the island of Barbuda (population of about 2,000 people) shortly after 05:00 UTC/01:00 EST. Irma is moving towards the west at a speed of nearly 24 km/h. Storm surges, life-threatening winds and torrential rainfall are expected along Irma’s path. Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days.
Three departments have been put on hurricane alert: Nord, Nord-Ouest and Nord-Est (the entire northern seaboard), and three others have been put on tropical-storm alert (lower intensity): Centre, Ouest (PAP) and Artibonite. Cap-Haitian, Port de Paix and the banks of the river that separates Haiti and the Dominican Republic are all prone to flooding. Further south, the large, flat, high plateau is also likely to see some flooding.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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