Published On: Wed, Sep 6th, 2017

Hurricane Irma: Two dead as Caribbean islands battered in 'hard and cruel' conditions

Hurricane Irma is passing through the Caribbean with ferocious strength, leaving several dead. 

The Category 5 storm has hammered the French territorial islands of St Martin and St Barthelemy leaving casualties, Mr Macron said this evening. 

France’s overseas minister later confirmed two people have died and another two have been seriously injured. 

Annick Girardin said: “We’re talking about two dead and two seriously injured for now. Obviously the situation can change very quickly.”

Earlier Mr Macron had warned there will be deaths in two of France’s Caribbean territories.

The French president said: “At this moment, it is too early to have a total figure, but I can already say that the impact will be hard and cruel.

“There will be casualties and the material damage on both islands will be considerable.”

France’s interior minister Gerard Collomb earlier warned of great devastation after confirming even strong buildings on the islands had been destroyed. 

He said: “We know that the four most solid buildings on the island have been destroyed which means that more rustic structures have probably been completely or partially destroyed.”

Low-lying areas on the French territorial islands have been flooded and sea levels have risen more than two metres. 

The chaos is expected to continue on several other Caribbean islands as Hurricane Irma continues to plough its way towards Florida and the US mainland. 

The Virgin Islands are next to be hit and tomorrow the US territory of Puerto Rico, as well as Haiti and Puerto Rico, are in the hurricane’s path. 

On Saturday the Turks and Caicos Islands are predicted to be in the firing line, along with tourist hotspots Cuba and the Bahamas. 

And it is predicted Hurricane Irma will first hit the American mainland, with Miami in the firing line, along with the Florida Keys island string on Sunday, through to Monday morning.

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