Hurricane Irma became a Category 5 hurricane on the morning of Tuesday, September 5, and is forecast to bring hazardous sea and weather conditions to the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean. Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Northern Leeward Islands, The British and US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
According to the latest update provided by the Anguilla Department of Disaster Management, at 8:00PM this evening Hurricane Irma was situated 151 miles southeast of Anguilla, with maximum sustained winds of 185mph. The core of the storm is forecast to be 77 miles ESE of Anguilla at 1:00AM on Wednesday, September 6, and to pass over the island by around 8:00AM. The Blowing Point and Road Bay seaports are closed until further notice, as is the Clayton J Lloyd International Airport.
The government has issued comprehensive safety directives and residents and resorts across the island are taking all necessary precautions to secure their properties and safeguard life. The number of visitors affected is likely to be minimal, as a majority of the hotels and restaurants on Anguilla close by the end of August for renovation and refurbishing. Visitors on the island were encouraged to leave and assisted with travel arrangements to facilitate their departure over the weekend.
The National Emergency Operations Center is coordinating the response and recovery efforts, and shelters have been opened in the West End, The Valley, South Hill and the East End.
The Anguilla Tourist Board will be closely monitoring the situation and issuing property updates in the aftermath of the storm.