Hurricane Irma has already devastated Saint Maarten in the Caribbean, and flattened 90% of the island including the world-famous Juliana International Airport. The islands of Barbuda and Anguilla have also suffered severe damage, with the Turks and Caicos Islands, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Bahamas forecast to be hit on Thursday [local time].
With the Category 5 Hurricane predicted to reach Florida and the south-eastern US states on Friday 8 September [local time] DFAT has updated its Smartraveller advice for travellers to the US.
“US authorities warn that Hurricane Irma could also impact Florida and the south-eastern United States from around 8 September. A State of Emergency has been declared in Florida to prepare emergency services. Expect high winds, heavy rain and storm surges. Monitor local media reports and follow the instructions of local emergency officials. Disruptions to essential services may occur. Contact your airline or tour operator to check if tourist services have been affected.”
Stay up to date with Irma’s progress over the weekend with The Guardian’s live blog
Children in a low-income neighbourhood of Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, carry containers for water as Hurricane Irma slammed across islands in the northern Caribbean Photograph: Ricardo Rojas/Reuters via The Guardian