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Hurricane Irma pummels Turks and Caicos islands

Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma has pummelled the Turks and Caicos Islands after leaving a trail of destruction across the Caribbean, killing at least 14 people. Howling winds and rough seas battered the British overseas territory, experiencing a top-rated category five hurricane for the first time. There has been some damage and flooding in Haiti, which is still recovering from the devastating 2010 earthquake.

Evacuation orders are in place in Florida with Irma due to land on Sunday. The hurricane’s winds have moderated slightly, at up to 270 kms per hour. The Red Cross says, an estimated 1.2 million people have been affected by Irma and that could rise sharply to 26 million.

There are concerns that disease could spread rapidly in areas where drinking water and sanitation services have broken down and officials have warned that the death toll is likely to rise.

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