Hurricane Jose strengthens to 'almost Category 5'

AFP Contributor  AFP  Getty Images

AFP Contributor AFP Getty Images

- In the Bahamas, hurricane warnings remained in place early Saturday.

With this movement, the storm is most likely to impact Cuba's northern territories early Saturday.

Irma's eye was about 195km southeast of the Florida Keys on Saturday evening moving at about 15km/h, the hurricane centre said, warning that storm surges of as much as three metres were possible.

For the Inland Empire, no flights to or from Florida were listed Saturday on the Ontario Airport's flight tracker. Hotels as far away as Atlanta have filled up with evacuees.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long told CNN: "If you didn't evacuate the Keys, you're on your own until we can actually get in there and it's safe".

The death toll from Irma has risen to 20, with four more people believed to have died on the British Virgin Islands, it is reported.

Puerto Rico: more than 6000 residents of the USA territory are in shelters and many more without power.

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Irma then slammed into the holiday islands of St Barts and St Martin, wielding monster winds and torrential rain.

Irma has left a wake of devastation in the Caribbean, where it made landfall on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and damaging homes and other infrastructure in Antigua and Barbuda, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, and the north coast of the Dominican Republic.

But the latest travel advice issued by the Government states: 'Across the United States, it is important that you follow the advice of the local authorities, including any evacuation orders.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Barbuda, Anguilla, Saba and St. Eustatius.

Many victims picked through the rubble of what had once been Caribbean dream getaway homes.

- Irma brought heavy rain and powerful winds to the low-lying Turks and Caicos Islands.

The problem is Irma's route took a westward turn overnight meaning Naples, Fort Meyers and Tampa are now directly in the storm's path.

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Most of these fearless firefighters have their own families to worry about too.

The 8.1 quake off the southern Pacific coast just before midnight Thursday toppled hundreds of buildings in several states.

In the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Katia is making landfall north of Tecolutla, Mexico.

When it reaches the state, Irma will probably have re-strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane, packing destructive 140 miles per hour winds and pushing a projected storm surge of up to 15 feet in some areas. The combination of its large size and strong winds is giving Irma a tremendous ability to push ocean water shoreward, what meteorologists call storm surge. The toll included 36 dead in Juchitan, located on the narrow waist of Oaxaca known as the Isthmus, where a hospital and about half the city hall also collapsed into rubble.

Tropical storm-force winds are already affecting parts of the Keys and southwest Florida as more than six million people have been ordered to evacuate.

He warned that those who do stay to endure the hurricane, which is "wider than our entire state", are risking their lives.

The National Weather Service also urged residents to evacuate. "Everybody's going to feel this one".

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Traffic rolls at a crawl on the northbound lanes of Florida's Turnpike near the intersection of I-75 in Wildwood.

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