The US has been hit by a new superstorm, bringing with it more than 100,000 deaths and more than $3 trillion in economic damage, the worst economic catastrophe in US history.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reported on Friday that the storm’s winds are expected to bring as much as a 1,200mph (1,700km/h) hurricane force down on the US, killing more than 10,000 people and displacing 1.8 million people, mostly in the south and west.
It will be the deadliest natural disaster in US recorded history.
Hurricane Sandy hit the US last year, causing an estimated $200bn in damages.
A hurricane season is typically a one-off event that happens during the summer, but this year’s storm is unprecedented.
What we know so far: US President Donald Trump has been accused of using the storm as an excuse to cancel several critical federal programs.
Hurricane Irma is forecast to make landfall on the Caribbean island of Barbuda on Sunday, leaving millions of people without power.
It is the strongest hurricane to hit the Caribbean in 25 years, and the deadliest in the Atlantic since Superstorm Katrina in 2005.
There is also widespread destruction across Florida, with more than 3,000 homes and businesses destroyed in Broward County alone.
Hurricane Jose, which struck the Caribbean country of St Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday, was the worst natural disaster to hit that country since Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2005, killing thousands and causing widespread destruction.
More than 3 million people were affected in the Caribbean region, with hundreds of thousands forced to leave their homes.
Hurricanes Irma and Jose have devastated many countries, including Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the Dominican States.
How the storm affected the US: Hurricanes Irma was the strongest storm to hit Florida since Super Storm Haiyan hit the region in 2005 Hurricane Jose was the most powerful storm to strike the Caribbean since Super Super Typhoon Harvey in Texas Hurricane Irma hit Florida on Friday in the worst hurricane to strike Florida since Hurricane Sandy in 2005 (EPA: Alex Wong) Hurricane Jose has already caused widespread damage across Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
Hurricanes Jose and Irma are both expected to weaken to tropical storm status before making landfall in the US on Sunday.
The storm’s path is now predicted to cross the US at least three times, as it continues to move north.
The current trajectory of Hurricane Jose is shown on a hurricane watch issued by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami on February 18, 2021 (AFP: Andrew Burton) Hurricane Irma’s path has also been changed, as the current forecast has it making landfall over Florida, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands.
Irma will move north, heading for the Gulf of Mexico, while Jose will make landfall over Puerto Rico on Sunday or Monday, and over the US mainland on Tuesday.