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Hurricane Irma: Strongest ever Atlantic storm makes landfall in Caribbean – latest news

The most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history has made landfall in the Caribbean islands, as British tourists are evacuated from the region amid warnings the storm will be “potentially catastrophic”.

The island of Barbuda was the first to bear the brunt of Hurricane Irma – a category five storm with winds of 185mph – early on Wednesday, churning along a path pointing to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before possibly hitting Florida over the weekend.

The eye of the hurricane passed over Barbuda at around 1.47am (5.47am BST) before heading towards St Martin. Heavy rain and howling winds raked the neighbouring island of Antigua, sending debris flying as people huddled in their homes or government shelters.

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