Hurricane Irma destroys weather station on Caribbean island St Barts

The storm also ripped off the roof of the police station on the island of Barbuda

Samuel Osborne
Wednesday 06 September 2017 10:58
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Dramatic footage as NOAA plane flies into Irma

Hurricane Irma appears to have broken the weather station on the Caribbean island of St Barthelemy (St Barts).

No data has been received from the station since 9am UTC, the French Observatory of Tornadoes and Violent Storms reported.

The most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history made its first landfall in the islands of the northeast Caribbean.

It is now churning along a path pointing to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before possibly heading for Florida over the weekend.

The eye of Hurricane Irma passed over Barbuda around 1.47am, the National Weather Service said. Residents said over local radio that phone lines went down. Heavy rain and howling winds raked the neighbouring island of Antigua, sending debris flying as people huddled in their homes or government shelters.

Officials warned people to seek protection from Irma's "onslaught" in a statement that closed with: "May God protect us all."

In Barbuda, the storm ripped off the roof of the island's police station forcing officers to seek refuge in the nearby fire station and at the community centre that served as an official shelter.

The Category 5 storm also knocked out communication between islands. Midcie Francis of the National Office of Disaster Services confirmed there was damage to several homes, but said it was too early to do tally or assess the extent of the damage.

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