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Category 5 Hurricane Irma moves away from Antigua and Barbuda

Published:Wednesday | September 6, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Hurricane Irma, the potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane was moving away from Antigua on Wednesday, but there were no reports of injuries or damage on the Caribbean island.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne in a brief Whatsapp message noted “colleagues, the Lord has protected us and we have been spared the worst of Irma.

“Thank God that there are no fatalities nor, hurricane casualties reported to this time.”

Browne said “with all hands on deck, we must now focus on the recovery efforts that should be swift.  It should be business as usual within the next 12-24 hours”.

One Montserrat-based journalist, Basil Chambers, who was stranded in Antigua on Tuesday, wrote on his Facebook page at 5.00 am (local time) “Is there a storm??? Well not where I am – The storm just made that elusive, long anticipated northern turn. Now we see the redemptive nature of God. His mercy endures”.

“Nothing major to report. Hearing the winds blowing lustily but not of control accompanied by a slight rain. The generator where I am staying gave up the ghost,” he added.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Hurricane Irma was now 35 miles east south east of St Martin and about 145 miles east of St Croix.

In its 5 a.m. (local time) bulletin, the NHC said that Irma is moving towards the west-northwest near 16 mph and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.