In Summary
  • Hurricane Irma pummelled Florida on Sunday, killing three people after causing at least 27 deaths in a multi-billion-dollar rampage through the Caribbean.
  • Irma churned over the lower Florida Keys islands as a Category Four hurricane before making a second landfall on the peninsula's southwestern coast as a Category Three storm

Hurricane Irma pummelled Florida on Sunday, killing three people after causing at least 27 deaths in a multi-billion-dollar rampage through the Caribbean.

Irma churned over the lower Florida Keys islands as a Category Four hurricane before making a second landfall on the peninsula's southwestern coast as a Category Three storm, packing winds of 115 miles (185 kilometers) per hour and torrential rain.

A second Category Four hurricane, Jose, followed part of Irma's track, but spared the storm-hit Caribbean islands of St Martin and St Barts, which had already suffered catastrophic damage from Irma.

Jose, veering north towards the mid-Atlantic, is expected to pose no threat to the United States.

  • Toll from Irma 

The death toll is at least 30: 14 in the French island of St Barts and the Dutch-French territory of St Martin; six in the British Caribbean islands; at least four in the US Virgin Islands; at least two in Puerto Rico; and one in Barbuda. Three other deaths occurred in Florida due to car accidents sparked by strong winds and torrential rain.

The International Red Cross says 1.2 million people have already been affected by Irma — a number that could rise to 26 million.

A huge wave breaks near the Morro Castle in Havana, on September 10, 2017. Deadly Hurricane Irma battered central Cuba on Saturday, knocking down power lines, uprooting trees and ripping the roofs off homes as it headed towards Florida. PHOTO | YAMIL LAGE | AFP

The bill for loss and damage could hit $120 billion (100 billion euros) in the United States and Caribbean, according to data modelling firm Enki Research.

  • Barbuda 

Irma hit the tiny Caribbean island of Barbuda on Wednesday with winds up to 295 kph. The island suffered "absolute devastation," with up to 30 percent of properties demolished, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said.

One person is known to have died on the island of 1,600 residents, apparently a child whose family was trying to get to safer ground.

  • St Martin, St Barts and Anguilla 

The holiday islands of St Martin and St Barts, also hit on Wednesday, suffered the highest toll among Caribbean victims of Irma.

St Martin is divided between France and the Netherlands. France said 10 people had died on its side of the island, while the Netherlands said the storm killed four on the Dutch side, called Sint Maarten.

On the Dutch side, 70 percent of the infrastructure has been destroyed. 

East Oakland Park Boulevard is completely blocked by a downed street light pole as Hurricane Irma hits the southern part of the state September 10, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The powerful hurricane made landfall in the United States in the Florida Keys at 9:10 a.m. after raking across the north coast of Cuba. PHOTO | CHIP SOMODEVILLA | AFP | GETTY IMAGES

France and the Netherlands are rushing in logistical support, as well as hundreds of extra police to clamp down on looting.

HOUSES

French aid includes helicopters, engineering equipment, medical supplies and a million litres (265,000 gallons) of water, as the three water-treatment plants will be knocked out for months.

French President Emmanuel Macron will arrive in St Martin Tuesday.

In the British archipelago of Anguilla, one man was crushed to death in a house collapse.

  • British Virgin Islands

Five people were killed in the British Virgin Islands, according to the local government.

Just east of Puerto Rico, it is home to roughly 28,000 people and includes British billionaire Richard Branson's Necker Island.

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