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Irma ap­pears in­creas­ingly likely to rip into heav­ily pop­u­lated South Florida early Sun­day. Gov. Rick Scott has de­clared an emer­gency and manda­tory evac­u­a­tion or­ders are in place for parts of the Mi­ami metro area and the Florida Keys. Me­te­o­rol­o­gist Je Masters with Weather Un­der­ground said Irma could strengthen again to 298 km/h or higher as it heads to warmer deeper wa­ter. Fore­cast­ers said Irma could rake the en­tire At­lantic coast of Florida and rage on into Ge­or­gia and South Carolina. Ge­or­gia’s gover­nor has or­dered a manda­tory evac­u­a­tion start­ing Satur­day from the state’s At­lantic coast. French, Bri­tish and Dutch res­cuers strug­gled to rush aid to a string of Caribbean is­lands Thurs­day af­ter Hurricane

Irma left at least six dead and thou­sands home­less. War­ships and mil­i­tary planes were dis­patched with food, wa­ter and troops af­ter the fear­some Cat­e­gory 5 storm smashed homes, schools and roads, lay­ing waste to some of the world’s most beau­ti­ful and exclusive tourist des­ti­na­tions. Nearly ev­ery building on the island of Bar­buda was dam­aged when the eye of the storm passed early Wednesday. That left about 60 per cent of the island’s roughly 1,400 peo­ple home­less, An­tigua and Bar­buda Prime Min­is­ter Gas­ton Browne said. About a mil­lion peo­ple were with­out power in Puerto Rico af­ter Irma sideswiped the island.

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