Hurricane Irma of ‘unprecedented intensity’ in the Atlantic

The Category Five hurricane is set to strike the popular holiday destinations of Saint Martin and Saint-Barthelemy, with the French weather service warning of 12-metre (39-foot) swells and
The Category Five hurricane is set to strike the popular holiday destinations of Saint Martin and Saint-Barthelemy, with the French weather service warning of 12-metre (39-foot) swells and "extremely violent floods along the shore" | © AFP | Lionel CHAMOISEAU

Paris (AFP) | 6 September 2017 4:23

The Category Five hurricane is set to strike the popular holiday destinations of Saint Martin and Saint-Barthelemy, with the French weather service warning of 12-metre (39-foot) swells and “extremely violent floods along the shore”.

“Irma is a hurricane of unprecedented intensity in the Atlantic,” said Meteo France, warning residents of the islands to stay indoors.

Meteo France said there would be a “major submersion of the low-lying parts of the coast”, with the towns of Marigot and Grand Case on the Franco-Dutch island of Saint-Martin and Gustavia in French Saint-Barthelemy to “be particularly impacted”.

The storm is expected to bring torrential rains, with 200-400 millimetres (8-16 inches) forecast.

Irma was continuing to strengthen, with gusts reaching 360 kilometres per hour (224 miles per hour) near the northern Lesser Antilles.

© 2017 AFP

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