Hurricane Irma ripped into the Caribbean island of Barbuda this morning, killing at least one person and destroying 90 percent of its structures and vehicles, according to Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
A spokesperson for Antigua and Barbuda’s National Office of Disaster Services told ABC News a complete assessment still needs to happen, but said Browne reported that Irma had wreaked “widespread damage” to the island.
Irma passed over Barbuda at around 2 a.m. today as a Category 5 hurricane. The National Weather Service tweeted a graphic showing the eye of Hurricane Irma seemingly causing the anemometer — an instrument that measures wind — to fail, as the measurements went from recording 150 mph winds to “calm” in just a few minutes.
Barbuda, an island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, is relatively flat, with its highest point at just 125 feet above sea level. About 1,600 people live on the island, according to the 2011 Census.
Hurricane Irma has sustained winds of 185 mph and even stronger gusts. It is forecast to hit Florida overnight Saturday into Sunday. The hurricane is approximately 450 miles wide, whereas Barbuda is just under 62 miles wide.
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