The following are the Caribbean countries and regions that are currently preparing for the passage of Hurricane Irma, currently a powerful Category 5 hurricane.
Hurricane Warnings are in effect for:
* Antigua & Barbuda
* St. Kitts and Nevis
* St. Eustatius
* St Maarten
* St Martin
* St Barthelemy
* British Virgin Islands
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* Puerto Rico
* Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the northern border with Haiti
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:
* Haiti from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to le Mole St. Nicholas
* Turks and Caicos Islands
* Southeastern Bahamas
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
* The Dominican Republic from south of Cabo Engano westward to the southern border with Haiti
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.
A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
At 5.00 p.m. today, Tuesday 05th September 2017, the centre of Powerful Hurricane Irma was located near Latitude 17.1 N and Longitude 59.8 W or about 210 km east of the Leeward Islands.
Irma is moving toward the west-northwest at 24 km/h. This motion is expected to continue for the next 24-48 hours.
On the forecast track, the center of Irma will move near or over portions of the northern Leeward Islands tonight and into early Wednesday.
Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 295 km/h with higher gusts. Irma is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two but Irma is expected to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 95 km from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 280 km.
SOURCE: TT Met Office