Hurricane Irma has strengthened into a Category 5 storm as it roared toward the northeast Caribbean on a path toward the US.
Irma's maximum sustained winds increased to 175mph [280 kph] early Tuesday. It was centered about 270 miles [440 kilometers] east of Antigua and moving west at 14 mph [22 kph].
Authorities warned that the storm could dump up to 10 inches [25 centimeters] of rain, cause landslides and flash floods and generate waves of up to 23 feet [7 meters]. Government officials began evacuations in certain islands.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello warned that all decisions taken in the next couple of hours would make a difference between life and death.
States of emergency were declared in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and all of Florida.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team