Track the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean as it heads towards Florida
September 7, 2017 — Hurricane Irma, the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, has been advancing across the northern Caribbean, leaving a trail of devastation in its path, and at least eight dead.
After hitting smaller islands such as Antigua and Barbuda on Tuesday and Wednesday, the storm was set to hit the Dominican Republic and Haiti on Thursday before moving on to Florida, and the populous coastal city of Miami, at the weekend.
Latest satellite imagery shows Irma crossing the Caribbean islands and heading towards the US mainland
Historically, more storms hit Florida than any other U.S. state
With wind speeds at 185 miles per hour, Irma is feared to be worse than Andrew, a Category 5 hurricane which struck Florida in 1992.
The strongest hurricane to hit the United States after Andrew was Charley, which made landfall in southwestern Florida more than a decade later.
Some of the countries in Irma’s path are among the world’s most vulnerable to natural disasters
Irma’s impact will depend on how hard it hits the most populated areas in its path to the mainland, and how well prepared they are to deal with its effects. According to a UN World Risk Report, the Caribbean countries differ starkly in their readiness. Although the United States and Cuba have relatively good infrastructure and plentiful medical professionals, the Dominican Republic is less ready, and Haiti is among the worst-prepared countries in the world to withstand a natural disaster.