Irish couple take shelter in Puerto Rico as Hurricane Irma approaches

An Irish woman in Puerto Rico has said the effects of Hurricane Irma have not been as bad as expected.

Rebecca Mooney from Blackrock in Dublin and her boyfriend were warned it was hurricane season, but decided to book their holiday anyway.

The 25-year-old said they took shelter in their hotel in San Juan.

"It doesn't seem to have been as bad as they thought, probably," Ms Mooney said.

"We had kind of a room with almost two rooms in it. We moved all of our stuff into the back room closer to the hallway. The glass was in the original room we were sleeping in and that was shaking quite a good bit," she added.

On Thursday morning Hurricane Irma's eye was just north of the coast of Puerto Rico, lashing the island with heavy rain and high winds and leaving more than 900,000 people without power.

Irma is continuing to tear a deadly path through the Caribbean as the scale of devastation in its wake begins to emerge.

The historic storm destroyed nearly all buildings on the island of Barbuda on Wednesday, killing a two-year-old child as a family tried to escape, before wreaking havoc on the French territories of St Martin and St Barts, leaving at least seven dead.

Tourists in the region have been urged to follow evacuation orders, while states of emergency have been declared in Puerto Rico, Cuba and Florida - amid fears Miami could be struck directly by the hurricane.

According to the United Nations up to 37 million people could be affected by the historic hurricane that has left at least ten dead and thousands homeless.

Irma, a category five hurricane, is expected to have passed over the Caribbean by Friday, however Hurricane Jose is expected to follow a similar path when it arrives over the weekend.

It is feared that storm may strengthen to a potentially devastating category three hurricane, which can bring winds of up to 129mph.


 

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