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Hurricane Irma Carves Path of Destruction in Caribbean
Hurricane Irma ripped through a string of Caribbean islands, leaving flattened homes, flooding and widespread devastation.
People move through flooded streets in Havana after the passage of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 10, 2017.
From Cuba to Antigua, Caribbean islanders began counting the cost of Hurricane Irma on Sunday after the brutal storm left a trail of death, destruction and chaos that could take the tourist-dependent region years to recover from.
The ferocious Category 5 storm, which killed at least 28 people across the region, devastated housing, power supplies and communications, leaving some small islands almost cut off from the world.
Toppled trees lie next to damaged buildings in Philipsburg, on the Caribbean island of St. Martin, on Sept. 6, 2017. Hurricane Irma sowed a trail of deadly devastation through the Caribbean on Wednesday, reducing both St. Martin and Barbuda to rubble.
No other storm in recorded history has maintained top winds of 185 mph for 37 hours.
Colorado State University hurricane expert Phil Klotzbach says that breaks the previous record, held by Typhoon Haiyan, which had similar top winds for 24 hours before it hit the Philippines and killed 6,000 people in 2013.
Irma also has been the most intense Atlantic hurricane on record outside the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, measured by its barometric pressure of 914 millibars.
Fishermen remove their wooden boat from the sea as a precaution against Hurricane Irma, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Sept. 6.
Haiti is expected to be spared a direct hit from Hurricane Irma but heavy rains and high surf could trigger dangerous floods in the impoverished country.
Buildings are missing their roofs in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on St. Martin in the Caribbean on Sept. 6.
The Hurricane Center has predicted that Irma will remain at Category 4 or 5 for the next day or two as it passes the Turks and Caicos, parts of the Bahamas by Thursday night, and skirts Cuba on Friday night into Saturday.
It will then likely head north toward Florida, where people were rushing to board up homes, fill cars with gasoline and find a route to safety.