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Nancy Clayson

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Nancy is a young, full of life lady who joined the team shortly after the BelleNews site started to run. She is focused on bringing up to light all the latest news from the technology industry. In her opinion the hi-tech expresses the humanity intellectual level. Nancy is an active person; she enjoys sports and delights herself in doing gardening in her spare time, as well as reading, always searching for new topics for her articles.


Malaysia has signed a “no find-no fee” deal with Texas-based Ocean Infinity to locate the wreckage of downed flight MH370.

According to Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester, the Malaysian government accepted an offer from Ocean Infinity.

Ocean Infinity will foot the bill if it fails to find the wreckage.

The disappearance of MH370 in March 2014 remains shrouded in mystery. The Malaysia Airlines flight fell off radar between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, with 239 people on board.

MH370: Search for Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane Suspended After Three Years

MH370: Suspected Cabin Debris Found in Mauritius

MH370: Debris Found in Mozambique Almost Certainly Came from Missing Plane

A massive maritime search operation for the plane cleared 120,000 sq km at an estimated cost of about A$200 million ($157 million), before it was suspended in January.

The company has not revealed the estimated cost of the new search. According to Darren Chester, Ocean Infinity will focus on a 25,000 sq km area identified by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau as having a “high probability” of containing the aircraft.

Ocean Infinity is using a centuries-old model known in the salvage industry as “no cure-no pay” – a type of deal usually applied in the recovery of valuable sunken cargo.

Under such a deal, a salvage company will take on the financial risk of a recovery and recoup from the owner a percentage of the cargo’s value if it is found, often 80 or 90%.

MH370 was carrying passengers and crew from 14 different countries when it disappeared. Most were from China and Malaysia.

Australia led the initial search, after aviation officials identified the ocean floor off its coast as the likely location of the wreckage. The country has agreed to provide technical assistance for the new search, Darren Chester said.

Earlier this month, Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said the government had received proposals from three private search companies – Ocean Infinity, Dutch firm Fugro and an unidentified Malaysian company.

Delivering its report into the MH370 disappearance earlier this month, Australia’s Transport Safety Bureau said it was “almost inconceivable” that the aircraft had not been found.


Everyone needs protection. And if you feel that you stay protected enough in the real world, you still feel not safe because of cyber world threats. Now the most popular tool for remaining absolutely private and secure in the daily usage of Worldwide Web is a virtual private network. Although these systems exist for a long time, they still bring confusion due to presence of several myths among users. If you want to choose the right service without becoming confused, read on.

5 myths about virtual private networks:

  1. Virtual private networks cooperate with our governments, disclosing all suspicious activities we make. The key purpose of any virtual private network – to make your internet usage available only for you. Any service on http://bestvpnrating.com/ considers privacy and reputation at top places and there is no interest for them in disclosing your personal information;
  2. Virtual private networks provide the same quality of service: Most think of a VPNs market as a market of perfect competition where the level of security always remains the same. But that is not so. There are still top notch services with higher quality (typically, their prices stay higher) and more affordable services with lower quality. If you pay more for the service, you know why do you do that;
  3. With free virtual private network my internet usage can still be private: Although free VPNs still provide security and encrypt your data flow, don’t forget that any provider should somehow earn revenues to cover costs. So, if there is no provider’s fees, providers will do that with adds or selling your data to IT companies;
  4. Virtual private networks always lower internet speed. Although encrypting data flows takes time, modern services learned how to make the internet the same way fast as without VPN. So if you feel that your test version of VPN works slower – change it to a faster one;
  5. With VPN my Internet is almost secure: Reliable VPN will never replace antivirus programs and your awareness. Even though VPN is active, avoid visiting suspicious sites and downloading apps from not reliable developers. With the right service, you are still under a threat of installing malware or getting phishing messages, which may help hackers reach important files.

How to avoid mistakes choosing your provider?

There are a lot of virtual private network offerings on the Internet and it is up to you to choose exactly the one, which satisfies your expectations. Think carefully, why do you need privacy, which operations you are going to perform and use your answers to choose a provider, which satisfies your expectations. If you are not sure that the information on advertisements is worth relying on, read VPN reviews. Written by experienced professionals, these reviews will reveal an unbiased view on any interested provider so you will not make a mistake with your choice.

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The death toll from northern California wildfires has climbed to 31, as officials warned that conditions would worsen.

Hundreds of people remain missing as at least 22 fires rampaged across the state’s famous wine country.

More than 8,000 firefighters are now battling the flames.

The fires have destroyed more than 3,500 buildings and homes over 170,000 acres and forced the evacuation of about 25,000 people.

According to officials, 17 people are now confirmed killed in Sonoma County, with another 8 in Mendocino County, 4 in Yuba County and two in Napa County.

The updated casualty figures mean the wildfires are the deadliest in California since 1933, when 29 people died in fires at Griffith Park in Los Angeles.

Image source Wikimedia

California Wildfires: At Least 17 Dead and More Than 150 Missing

California Wildfires Kill at Least 13 in Wine Country

Strong winds that have fanned the flames eased in recent days, but forecasters warned they were set to pick up again on Friday night.

Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano said recovery teams with cadaver dogs were searching the smoldering ruins of homes.

“We have found bodies that were completely intact, and we have found bodies that were no more than ash and bone,” he said.

It is not yet clear what started the fires on October 8, but officials say power lines blown over by strong winds could be the cause.

One of the greatest threats to life is believed to be around the town of Calistoga, Napa County, where the entire population of 5,000 has been ordered to evacuate.

Geyserville, a town of around 800 people, and the community of Boyes Hot Springs, both in Sonoma, were also evacuated.

The huge fires have sent smoke and ash over San Francisco, about 50 miles away, and over some towns and cities even further south.

At least 13 Napa Valley wineries have been destroyed, a vintners’ trade group says.

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According to California police, more than 150 people are missing in wildfires that have ravaged the state’s northern wine region.

At least 17 people are now confirmed dead and more than 2,000 buildings have been destroyed by the fires which broke out on October 8.

Eleven of the deaths have been in Sonoma County.

One of the worst affected towns there is Santa Rosa, north of San Francisco, where entire districts have been destroyed.

According to the Sonoma County sheriff’s office, 155 people were still unaccounted for, although that could be due to the chaotic pace of the evacuations.

Image source Wikimedia

California Wildfires Kill at Least 13 in Wine Country

California wildfires spark evacuations

California Sand Fire: Wildfires Prompt Evacuations Near Los Angeles

In neighboring Napa County, victims included 100-year-old Charles Rippey and his 98-year-old wife, Sarah, police said.

The wildfires are among the deadliest in California’s history and have sent smoke as far south as San Francisco, about 60 miles away.

According to officials, more than 17 fires had burned about 115,000 acres in the past 24 hours.

There was some good news when winds that had been fanning the flames eased, helping firefighters to bring some of the blazes under control.

In Santa Rosa, a Hilton hotel and a mobile home park were destroyed. Tens of thousands of Sonoma County residents have fled, authorities said.

At least four wineries had suffered “total or very significant losses”, Napa Valley Vintners said, with nine others reporting some damage to buildings or vineyards.

More than 91,000 homes and businesses are without power.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared states of emergency in Sonoma, Napa and five other counties.

President Donald Trump has also approved a disaster declaration, allowing federal emergency aid to be disbursed.

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At least 13 people have been killed by fast-spreading fires that are ravaging parts of California’s wine region.

Mass evacuations have been ordered in the region after 1,500 properties were destroyed and a state of emergency was declared in northern areas.

About 20,000 people fled from Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties in response to some California’s worst-ever wildfires.

Such fires are more common in southern California but a combination of dry weather and strong winds has fuelled the destruction in the north.

On October 10, Cal Fire officials said that 17 wildfires in nine counties have burned more than 115,000 acres in just the past 12 hours.

California Governor Jerry Brown said: “These fires have destroyed structures and continue to threaten thousands of homes, necessitating the evacuation of thousands of residents.”

Image source Wikimedia

California Wildfires 2015: Thousands of Residents Forced to Leave Their Homes

California wildfires spark evacuations

California Sand Fire: Wildfires Prompt Evacuations Near Los Angeles

On October 9, the governor appealed to President Donald Trump in a five-page letter to declare a major disaster and send federal emergency aid to the fire-ravaged state.

Meanwhile, in southern California, a separate wildfire burnt 24 homes or other buildings in the wealthy Anaheim Hills area of Orange County, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate.

The fires – considered among the deadliest in state history – have sent smoke as far south as San Francisco, located about 60 miles away.

A new fire is reportedly burning near the Oakmont area of Santa Rosa, a city that has already been devastated by the blazes.

Hundreds of homes have been destroyed in the city by flames so hot that glass melted on cars.

Details of how the seven people died in Sonoma were not immediately available, but country sheriff Rob Giordano said he expected the death toll to rise.

“There is a lot of burned homes and a lot of burned areas, so it’s just logical that we’re gonna find more people,” he said.

Two people also died in Napa county and one in Mendocino county when thousands of acres burned in one valley.

Sonoma County officials said they had received more than 150 missing-person reports by Tuesday.

Dozens of vineyard workers were reportedly airlifted to safety overnight.

Wineries belonging to the rich and famous were abandoned. One belonging to musician Dave Matthews was closed and at risk of being burned to the ground, staff said, as was the nearby Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

The vine harvest is already under way and many of the grapes have been picked.

It is not yet known how the fires started on October 8, but such blazes are particularly fast-spreading because of a combination of 60mph winds, low humidity and hot, dry weather.

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Hurricane Nate has it the Gulf Coast bringing strong winds, torrential rain.

The storm, with maximum sustained winds of 85mph, made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana on October 7.

Moving north, Nate made a second landfall at Biloxi, Mississippi.

Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and parts of Florida earlier issued warnings and evacuation orders amid fears of rapidly rising sea waters.

Tropical Storm Nate killed at least 25 people in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Honduras.

It then strengthened to a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale as it headed towards the US.

Although not as strong as last month’s Maria and Irma, officials had warned Nate was a fast-moving storm that could bring flooding to low-lying areas.

On October 7, President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration for Louisiana, allowing the state to seek federal help with preparation and possible relief efforts.

Image source Wikimedia

Tropical Storm Nate Kills At Least 22 in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras

Hurricane Maria Leaves Puerto Rico Without Power

Hurricane Irma: Six Died at Florida Nursing Home

In Alabama, Republican Governor Kay Ivey urged residents in areas facing heavy winds and storm surges to take precautions.

Five ports along the Gulf Coast were closed to shipping as a precaution.

Most oil and gas platforms in the US Gulf of Mexico evacuated their staff and stopped production ahead of the storm.

In an update at 03:00 GMT, the NHC said a hurricane warning was in effect for the “mouth of the Pearl River to the Alabama-Florida border”.

Evacuation orders were put in place for some low-lying areas.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency ahead of the hurricane, saying more than 1,000 National Guard troops had been mobilized with a number sent to New Orleans to monitor the drainage pumps there.

A mandatory curfew from 18:00 local time was in place in New Orleans, where residents from areas outside the city’s levee system were evacuated.

A tropical storm warning is currently in effect for New Orleans.

The NHC said that Hurricane Nate “is expected to weaken quickly after landfall, and it is likely to become a tropical storm on October 8.

“It should degenerate into a remnant low late Monday.”

Nate went past Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula – home to the popular beach resorts of Cancun and Playa del Carmen – on Friday night as it headed north, the NHC said.

Nate caused heavy rains, landslides and floods which blocked roads, destroyed bridges and damaged houses as it tore through central America.

At least 13 people died in Nicaragua, eight in Costa Rica, three in Honduras and one in El Salvador.

The tail of the storm is still causing problems in the region, where thousands have been forced to sleep in shelters and some 400,000 people in Costa Rica were reported to be without running water.

At least 22 people have been killed in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras as Tropical Storm Nate moves north towards the US.

A state of emergency has been declared in the Central American countries, where more than 20 people are missing.

Nate has caused heavy rains, landslides and floods which are blocking roads, destroying bridges and damaging houses.

In Costa Rica, nearly 400,000 people are without running water and thousands are sleeping in shelters.

At least 8 people have died in the storm there, while another 11 were killed when it moved north and reached Nicaragua, where as much as 15ins of rain had been predicted to fall by the US’s National Hurricane Center.

Three people have been killed in Honduras, including two youths who drowned in a river, and several are reported missing.

One man was also reportedly killed in a mudslide in El Salvador, according to emergency services.

On October 5, all train journeys were suspended and dozens of flights canceled in Costa Rica.

More than a dozen national parks popular with tourists have been closed as a precaution.

Image source Wikimedia

Hurricane Maria Leaves Puerto Rico Without Power

Hurricane Irma: 6.5 Million Homes Left Without Power in Florida

Hurricane Irma Hits Cuba on Its Way to Florida

Nate also caused extensive damage to infrastructure in Nicaragua.

Nicaragua’s VP Rosario Murillo advised people to be cautious in the heavy rains.

“Sometimes we think we think we can cross a river and the hardest thing to understand is that we must wait,” he said on state radio.

“It’s better to be late than not to get there at all.”

According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm was expected to move off the eastern coast of Honduras at 23:00 ET on October 5.

Forecasters say Nate will gain strength and become a category one hurricane before it makes landfall on the southern coast of the United States on October 8.

Residents from Florida to Texas have been told to prepare for the storm, which, if it does strike, might be the third major storm to hit the southern coast his year.

Both Texas and Florida are still recovering from the damage inflicted by Hurricane Harvey, which hit the former in August and caused “unprecedented damage”, and Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in Florida in September.

A state of emergency was declared in 29 Florida counties, and in New Orleans in Louisiana.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu told people who live on low-lying ground to evacuate.

He tweeted: “There is no need to panic.

“Be ready and prepare. Get a plan. Prepare to protect your personal property.”

Oil companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico says they are evacuating staff from platforms which lie along the predicted path of Tropical Storm Nate.

According to recent reports, the death toll of the last night mass shooting in Las Vegas has risen to 58.

More than five hundreds have been also injured after a gunman opened fire at the Route 91 Harvest festival.

The gunman, named as 64-year-old Nevada resident Stephen Paddock, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel towards the open-air music festival attended by 22,000.

Stephen Paddock killed himself as police stormed the room where 10 guns were found.

Investigators have found no link to international terrorism, despite a claim from ISIS.

FBI Special Agent Aaron Rouse told a news conference: “We have determined at this point no connection to an international terrorist organization.”

ISIS had claimed to be behind the attack, saying that Stephen Paddock had converted to Islam some months ago.

However, ISIS provided no evidence for this and has made unsubstantiated claims in the past.

In an address from the White House, President Donald Trump described the attack as “pure evil”.

The president praised the efforts of the emergency services, saying their “miraculous” speed saved lives, and announced he would be visiting Las Vegas on October 4.

The attack is the worst mass shooting in recent US history.

Stephen Paddock’s motives remain unclear. Las Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombardo described the shooting as a “lone wolf” attack.

“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Joe Lombardo said.

Image source Getty Images

Las Vegas Shooting: At Least Two Dead and 24 Injured at Route 91 Harvest Festival

Cameo Nightclub Shooting: One Dead and 15 Injured in Cincinnati

According to a police statement, the shooting began at 22:08 local time on October 1. Stephen Paddock came from the small town of Mesquite, some 60 miles north-east of Las Vegas, and had resided in the hotel since September 28.

Police in Mesquite have searched Paddock’s premises and recovered a number of weapons. However, they say he had not crossed paths with the police in the past. A second property has also been searched.

Las Vegas police say the number of people injured now stands at 515.

Among those killed was an off-duty police officer.

Earlier, police announced they were seeking a woman, Marilou Danley, in connection with the shooting.

In his latest update, Sheriff Joe Lombardo said she had now been located outside the US and was not thought to have played any role.

Marilou Danley is believed to have lived with Stephen Paddock, and Sheriff Lombardo said he used some of her identity documents to check in to the hotel.

Witnesses reported that hundreds of shots were fired.

Hundreds of people fled the scene and the sound of what appeared to be prolonged automatic gunfire could be heard on videos posted on social media.

Many hotels on the Las Vegas Strip close to the scene remained on police lockdown and parts of Las Vegas Boulevard were shut.

People sheltered in hotels, restaurants and at Las Vegas McCarran airport.

The Route 91 Harvest festival had been taking place since September 29 at several hotels on the Las Vegas Strip.

Jason Aldean, who was rushed off stage when the shooting started, shared on Instagram that he was safe but heartbroken and did not know what to say.

“Tonight has been beyond horrific,” the country music singer wrote.

“It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night.”

Nevada has some of the least stringent gun laws in the US.

People are allowed to carry weapons and do not have to register themselves as a gun-owner.

Background checks are done when people buy guns, but they are also allowed to sell them privately.

At least two people died and other 24 have been injured in a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.

A gunman opened fire at an open-air country music festival at the Mandalay Bay Hotel on Las Vegas Strip.

Hundreds of people fled the scene and the sound of what appeared to be prolonged automatic gunfire could be heard on videos posted on social media.

According to police, a suspect “was down”. There are reports of at least one other incident on the Las Vegas Strip.

Image source Getty Images

Iran: Shootings at Parliament Building and Ayatollah Khomeini Shrine

Cameo Nightclub Shooting: One Dead and 15 Injured in Cincinnati

Parts of the area were shut down as armed police arrived at the scene of the attack on the Route 91 Harvest festival.

The shooting took place at around 22:30 local time. Witnesses reported that hundreds of shots were fired.

Some flights have been diverted from Las Vegas McCarran airport while the incident continues.

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O.J. Simpson has been released on parole after nine years in a Nevada jail.

The former NFL player had been serving time for armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and 10 other charges over a 2007 confrontation at a Las Vegas hotel.

O.J. Simpson was approved for early parole release at a board hearing in July.

In 1995, he was acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

In a Facebook post, Nevada Department of Corrections released an image and video of O.J. Simpson signing documents and leaving Lovelock Correctional Centre on October 1.

They confirmed the 70-year-old had been released from the facility at 00:08.

O.J. Simpson will face restrictions – including up to five years of parole supervision.

He was sentenced to a maximum 33-year prison sentence in 2008 after storming a Las Vegas hotel room with five others in an effort to seize items from two sports memorabilia dealers.

Image source Wikimedia

O.J. Simpson Granted Parole After Nine Years in Prison

OJ Simpson’s Knife Found at His Former Estate NOT a Murder Weapon

O.J. Simpson murder trial evidence unveiled after 20 years

O.J. Simpson said the belongings, which he described as images of his family and friends, were later handed over to him by officials after they were legally deemed to belong to him.

In 2013, the Nevada Board of Parole granted O.J. Simpson parole on some of his convictions, but not for the more violent charges. In July this year, the former football player was granted parole and approved for release in October.

Bruce Fromong, who was one of O.J. Simpson’s victims in the robbery, testified in favor of him being granted freedom.

O.J. Simpson was found guilty in 2008 exactly 13 years to the day after he was famously acquitted in the double-murder case.

Despite the 1995 not-guilty verdict, a civil court jury held O.J. Simpson liable for the deaths of Brown Simpson and Goldman, awarding $33.5 million to their families.

A lawyer representing Ron Goldman’s family told Associated Press this amount had nearly doubled with interest under Californian state law, and that the family would continue to seek payment from O.J. Simpson after his release.

O.J. Simpson has expressed his desire to move to Florida after leaving jail.

On September 27, his lawyer Malcolm LaVergne said that he was feeling “very upbeat” ahead of the release.

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At least 22 people have been killed and more than 30 injured in a stampede on a footbridge at a Mumbai railway station, Indian officials report.

The tragedy occurred during the morning rush hour at Elphinstone station, which connects two major local lines.

The incident was triggered by overcrowding and people seeking shelter from monsoon rains, the officials said.

The injured have been taken to a nearby hospital and senior railway officials are at the scene.

“The incident occurred as heavy rains lashed Mumbai and passengers took refuge on the foot over bridge. People at the front slipped and the huge crowd toppled over, leading to the stampede,” Indian Railways spokesman Ravindra Bhakar told AFP.

“Twenty-two dead have been confirmed, 14 men and eight women… Some 32 passengers are injured.”

Image source India.com

India Stampede: At Least 10 Killed at Deoghar’s Baidyanath Jyotirlinga Temple

Madhya Pradesh stampede kills 89 pilgrims in India

Mecca Stampede: Iranian Citizens Death Toll Reaches 464

Akash Koteja, one of the injured, said: “Trains were rolling in and some people wanted to get out of the station, but others were not making way. When a few tried, it led to a stampede.”

TV footage from the scene showed commuters trying to rescue fellow passengers from the crush and revive people by pumping their chests.

“We put everybody who was injured in cars, police vans and ambulances and tried to take them to the hospital as quickly as possible,” said one witness quoted by AFP.

Indian PM Narendra Modi said in a tweet: “My deepest condolences to all those who have lost their lives due to the stampede in Mumbai. Prayers with those who are injured.”

The prime minister added that Railway Minister Piyush Goyal was in Mumbai “taking stock of the situation and ensuring all assistance”.

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WhatsApp has been blocked in China as the government steps up security ahead of a Communist Party meeting next month.

Users have faced problems with the messaging app for more than a week with services dropping in and out.

At times, WhatsApp has been completely blocked and only accessible via virtual private networks (VPNs) which circumvent China’s internet firewall.

WhatsApp is Facebook’s only product allowed to operate in mainland China.

Facebook’s main social media service and its Instagram image sharing app are not available on the mainland.

WhatsApp Reaches Milestone of One Billion Active Users Monthly

WhatsApp Suspended in Brazil

WhatsApp criticized over privacy policy

A test of WhatsApp’s services on September 26 showed users in China could not send video messages or photographs to people outside China.

The disruption follows restrictions on WhatsApp video chats and photographs in July, which were later lifted.

The tightening of online censorship comes as China steps up security ahead of the Communist Party’s national congress which is held every five years.

WhatsApp has declined to comment on the latest clampdown.

The app provides end-to-end encryption which ensures only the sender and recipient can view the content of messages.

It also prevents Facebook from knowing what is said in any text, voice and video conversation being communicated on WhatsApp.

The latest disruption to WhatsApp appears to be part of a broader crackdown on the internet and online content in China.

On September 25, China’s cyber watchdog handed down maximum penalties to some of the country’s top tech companies including Tencent, Baidu and Weibo for failing to properly censor online content.

The penalties were imposed for failing to remove fake news and pornography, as well as content that authorities said “incites ethic tension” and “threatens social order”.

Hurricane Maria has left without power to the entire island of Puerto Rico, home to 3.5 million people, emergency officials have said.

Abner Gómez, head of the disaster management agency, said Hurricane Maria had damaged “everything in its path”.

He said that none of the customers of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority had any electricity.

Maria weakened to a category 3 storm with winds of 115 mph as it moved across the island.

“The information we received is not encouraging,” Abner Gómez told a briefing, urging people to stay in their homes.

Image source Good Free Photos

Hurricane Maria Takes Aim at Caribbean Islands Devastated by Irma Just Days Ago

Hurricane Irma: Six Died at Florida Nursing Home

Hurricane Irma: 6.5 Million Homes Left Without Power in Florida

Earlier, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello asked President Donald Trump to declare the island a disaster area after the storm unleashed heavy flooding and life-threatening winds.

The governor said major damage was inevitable, although 500 shelters had been established to protect people.

Hurricane Maria has already left seven people dead on the island of Dominica, which was badly affected on September 18.

Aerial footage shows flattened houses and the death toll on Dominica is likely to rise, with details remaining scant as communication links are down.

Images shared on social media show roofs being stripped away as winds as strong as 140 mph whipped trees and power lines in Puerto Rico’s capital city, San Juan.

Puerto Rico is facing $73 billionn in public debt and the damage left by Maria could exacerbate its financial crisis. Declaring a disaster would mean the island could receive more federal assistance in its recovery.

According to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), Maria made landfall in Yabucoa in the east of Puerto Rico on September 20 as a category 4 storm. It was the first category 4 hurricane to directly hit Puerto Rico since 1932.

Hours earlier, Maria barreled through the US Virgin Islands’ St Croix as a category 5 storm, sustaining winds of up to 175mph.

There was flooding in the French territory of Guadeloupe, where one person was killed by a falling tree and another died on the seafront. At least two others were missing after their ship sank near Desirade, the easternmost island in the archipelago.

Hurricane Maria is the second devastating storm to hit the Caribbean this season – the first being category 5 Irma earlier in September. Maria began moving roughly along the same track as Irma.

Officials in Puerto Rico feared the debris left by Irma could prove extremely dangerous in the high winds.

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You’re a cool mom. You’re hip, you can identify at least 3 of every 5 songs on the hip hop station and you host the most brag-worthy sleepover parties on the block. It’s clear you know what you’re doing but it’s time to step up your game because you’re about to throw the ultimate pool party. And not just any pool party, no, this will be the pool party of the summer, a party that will boost your kiddo’s coolness level and leave other mom’s reminiscing about it well into the school year.

What’s a Party Without Music?

The best way to set the theme of a party is to pump out beach worthy tunes. We’re talking some ska bands and reggae mixed in with some of the bigger hits on the radio. It’s almost like your own personal DJ, but it’s you so it’s free. Mix up a bumpin’ playlist before the party and save it to your phone so it’s ready to stream over Bluetooth at the click of a button.

If anyone in the house already has the Galaxy S8 or the iPhone 7, then you’re in luck, these phones are water resistant and perfect accessories for your pool party, not to mention for the rest of the year to come. If you don’t have a Bluetooth sound system already in place then you can invest in floating pool speakers, the next best thing. There are multiple version of floating speakers available, but try something that doubles as a neon pool light, like the LED Floating Bluetooth Speaker.

Get the Party Started with a Squirt Gun Station

Having stations around the pool area is a great way to encourage the fun to begin and last all day long. The best way to encourage folks to get into the pool is to start by giving a child a squirt gun, encourage him to super soak his dad and then watch as his dad picks him up and does a cannon ball into the pool with him in his arms.

Get a five-gallon bucket and fill it with warm water (it’s better than being hit with cold water) and dump a handful of guns in there primed and ready to douse.

Pool Party Games and Entertainment

Games for all ages will ensure entertainment at any hour, especially if the party rolls into the evenings. We all know that hot days often result in hot nights, so pool time is never really over. To keep things fun bring some yard games for the kiddos so they can take a break from the pool, and toss a few floating games into the water for adults to encourage a little swim time for them too.

Another brilliant way to spruce up your pool and max out the fun is to add a slide onto the edge. We’re not talking anything permanent or expensive either. There are tons of slide options for pools from inflatables to hard sided slides that can be constructed with ease.

Snow Cone Stand to Keep Things Cool

A snow cone stand is a great accessory for your pool party simply because it can also be used throughout the rest of the summer, pool party time or not. Who doesn’t love a snow cone? Set up a stand so parents can take their kids up their, scoop some shaved snow into a cone, and then let them decorate with various bottles of flavoring put out on the table. Kids love being able to do things themselves, and since your outside it won’t create too much of a mess and the kids can easily clean off with a quick dip in the pool.

Plan for the After Party

If you want your party to be a big hit, consider constructing and outdoor white screen to project a movie onto for kids that are winding down for the night, especially if your pool party is doubling as a sleepover. This is yet another change to give adults a shot at having some fun. Toss floating orb lights into the water or hot tub and enjoy a little relaxation time poolside, or go the cheaper route and throw handfuls of glow sticks into the pool for a delightful evening light show!

If you want to add some other fun lighting options to your pool as the party progresses into the night, consider buying an Aqua Jet Fountain with LED neon lights. Light up tiered fountains are a great way to add personality to your pool and create a fun ambiance for the kids that want to go for an evening swim without worrying about dark water!

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Six people died at a Florida nursing home after Hurricane Irma left the facility without power for days.

On September 13, police evacuated 115 residents from the facility, whose air conditioning was cut by the storm.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said 3 people were found dead at the nursing home in the city of Hollywood. Three others died in hospital.

Ten million people are still without power in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas after Hurricane Irma.

The storm – which has claimed more than two dozen lives in the US – struck southwestern Florida on September 10 as a category 4 hurricane before weakening to a tropical depression on September 11.

Irma earlier left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean, where nearly 40 people were killed.

Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez said the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills facility has been sealed off and police are conducting a criminal investigation.

State investigators from the Florida Office of Attorney General were also at the scene, city officials said in a statement.

Hollywood Fire Rescue found several patients “in varying degree of medical distress and immediately began treatment” when they arrived at the Hollywood Hills facility on Wednesday morning, according to the city’s statement.

Image source Wikimedia

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Some residents there awoke sick, the Miami Herald reported.

Kitchen worker Jean Lindor told the newspaper a generator allowed staff to cook but did not provide the facility with air conditioning.

On September 12, temperatures in Hollywood reached 90F, according to the National Weather Service.

The Florida Health Care Association called the deaths a “profound tragedy within the larger tragedy of Hurricane Irma”.

The facility is not the only Florida nursing home that has been left without power by Irma.

An estimated 150 facilities out of the nearly 700 in Florida are currently without full power services, the association said.

The group said it was working with officials to prioritize “the locations with the greatest need”.

More than half of a large retirement community in Pembroke Pines, Florida, still had no electricity by September 13, leaving elderly residents stuck in rooms with no access to lifts.

Pembroke Pines police spokeswoman Amanda Conwell told the Miami Herald that officers were at the scene.

Amanda Conwell said some of the 15,000 residents at Century Village were vulnerable and “we are concerned about their welfare”.

Another assisted care facility for dementia patients in Fort Myers, Florida, was left without power for three days after Hurricane Irma as elderly patients suffered in the rising heat.

Cape Coral Shores kept 20 patients during the storm as part of an agreement with authorities because local emergency shelters had been evacuated as Irma bore down on the coast.

Florida residents are still returning from shelters to their households to count the cost of Irma’s destruction.

According to authorities, preliminary estimates suggest 25% of the homes in the Florida Keys were destroyed and 65% sustained major damage.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit the hard-hit city of Naples on September 14 to view the damage, media have reported.

It will be the president’s third trip related to hurricanes in two weeks and he will be joined by First Lady Melania Trump.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has announced his resignation following allegations of abuse against teenage boys.

The mayor said he was stepping aside just hours after the Seattle Times reported that his younger cousin, Joseph Dyer, had accused him of abuse.

Joseph Dyer, 54, is the fifth man to accuse Ed Murray of abuse dating back to the 1970s, the newspaper reports.

Ed Murray, 62, denies the allegations, but said he did not want “personal issues” interfering with “public business”.

He said in a statement on September 12: “While the allegations against me are not true, it is important that my personal issues do not affect the ability of our City government to conduct the public’s business.”

His resignation will take effect from 17:00 local time on September 13, the statement added.

Image source Wikimedia

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Ed Murray said that he was “proud of all that I have accomplished” but added that due to the reported accusations “it is best for the city if I step aside”.

The first allegation of abuse against Ed Murray was reported in April. Since then, four more men have come forward, the Seattle Times reports.

Joseph Dyer said that he was 13 in the mid 1970s when he was abused by his elder cousin, Ed Murray.

Ed Murray, a former Democratic state representative who is in a gay marriage, says that he is the target of a political campaign aimed at stifling his progressive politics and tarnishing his record as a gay-rights champion.

The next mayoral election in Seattle will take place in January 2018.

Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell will take over as mayor until the election.

Apple has unveiled iPhone X with an “edge-to-edge” screen that has no physical home button.

Details of the high-end smartphone and other forthcoming Apple devices have been revealed via an apparent leak two days ago.

Two news sites were given access to an as-yet-unreleased version of the iOS operating system.

The iPhone X – which is referred to as “ten” – uses FaceID – a facial recognition system – to recognize its owner rather than a fingerprint-based one.

Apple said FaceID could work in the dark by using 30,000 infra-red dots to check an identity, and was harder to fool than its old TouchID system.

iPhone X – which is smaller than iPhone 8 Plus, but with a larger screen – is Apple’s most expensive phone yet.

A 64 GB capacity model will cost $999 when it goes on sale on November 3. A 256GB version will be priced at $1,149.

By contrast, Samsung is charging $930 for its new Note 8 phone, which has 64GB of storage.

Image source Apple

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Apple acknowledged that users might have concerns about using facial recognition to verify purchases via Apple Pay or to access their device.

However, the company claimed that while there was a one-in-50,000 chance that TouchID could be unlocked by a random stranger, the odds rose to one-in-one-million with FaceID.

Nevertheless, one expert said users might still be concerned the handset had no fingerprint sensor as an alternative.

Other features announced about iPhone X included:

  • its 5.8in screen has 458 pixels per inch, making it Apple’s most detailed phone display to date. To mark this it has been branded “super retina”
  • the lack of a home button is dealt with by requiring users to swipe up to access its apps, and to press a side button to summon its virtual assistant Siri
  • portrait mode – in which the camera blurs a photo’s background – and a relighting tool can be used on pictures taken by both the front and rear cameras
  • two hours more battery life than the iPhone 7.

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About 6.5 million homes in Florida have been left without power after Hurricane Irma cut a deadly path through the state, officials say.

Relief operations are under way and engineers are working to restore power, but many areas remain stranded.

The islands of the Florida Keys and western parts of Florida bore the brunt of the category-four hurricane.

Irma hit Florida on September 10 and weakened to a tropical storm before becoming a tropical depression on September 12.

Image source Air Combat Command

Hurricane Irma’s Eye Hits Key West, Key Largo, Naples and Marco Island

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The storm was downgraded as it moved north towards Atlanta, with maximum sustained winds of 35mph later recorded, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in a statement.

The NHC statement said that while heavy rain was expected to continue across south-eastern states, all storm surge and tropical storm warnings had been discontinued.

Media reports link at least four deaths to the storm in Florida. Last week it killed at least 37 people in Caribbean islands.

Meanwhile, White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert has announced that it will be some time before residents in the Florida Keys are able to return to their homes.

“I would expect that the Keys are not fit for re-entry for regular citizenry for weeks,” he said.

Speaking as he went on an aerial tour of the Keys, Florida Governor Rick Scott said: “Power lines are down throughout the state. We’ve got roads that are impassable, so everybody’s got to be patient as we work through this.”

The Keys are cut off from the mainland, as the 42 bridges that link them are being assessed for damage. According to reports, 10,000 people decided to ride out the storm.

PewDiePie comes again under fire after using the “n-word” during an online broadcast.

The world’s highest-paid YouTube star – real name Felix Kjellberg – could be heard using the racial slur while he was playing a video game during a live streaming.

After using the term PewDiePie appeared to recognize his error, saying: “I don’t mean that in a bad way.”

The 27-year-old Swede, who has more than 57 million subscribers, previously had to defend himself over anti-Semitism allegations.

On another occasion, PewDiePie was suspended from Twitter for ISIS jokes.

He amassed his following by posting recordings of himself playing video games and providing commentary.

In February, some of PewDiePie’s videos were found to contain Nazi references or anti-Semitic imagery, which resulted in Disney cutting ties with him.

Image source Wikimedia

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The gamer is reported to have made $15 million through YouTube in 2016 – he gets billions of views per month and generates vast amounts of income from advertising.

PewDiePie had been associated with Disney via Maker Studios, a company with a network of YouTube stars.

In February, Disney said that while PewDiePie had a reputation for being provocative and irreverent, some of the videos he made were “inappropriate”.

In one of the controversial videos, he paid two people through a crowd-sourcing website to hold up a sign which read “Death to all Jews”.

He accepted the material was offensive, but said he did not support “any kind of hateful attitudes”.

PewDiePie said that the anti-Semitism claims were “insane” and “unfair”, adding: “I am sorry for the words I used as I know they offended people.”

The row led to YouTube canceling the release of his new series, Scare PewDiePie 2.

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Irma has strengthened to a category 4 hurricane as it approaches Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 130mph.

Wind gusts close to hurricane force are already battering islands in south Florida, with the mainland due to be hit in the coming hours.

Water levels are already rising on Florida coast, where a huge storm surge is expected.

At least 25 people died when hurricane Irma earlier hit several Caribbean islands.

In Florida, 6.3 million people – about 30% of the state’s population – had been told to evacuate. However, on September 9, Florida Governor Rick Scott said it was now too late to leave for anyone remaining.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warns that a “life-threatening storm surge” is expected in the Florida Keys – a chain of small islands in Florida’s south – and also the west coast of Florida.

Image source NASA

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Hurricane Irma is predicted to hit the coast on Sunday morning, but the outer bands are already affecting the south of the state and central Miami is being lashed by heavy rain.

The Florida Keys have suffered some minor damage and are expected to bear the brunt of the storm in the coming hours.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long told CNN there were “no safe areas within the Keys”.

“You put your life in your own hands by not evacuating,” he added.

Governor Rick Scott warned residents: “If you’re in an evacuation zone, you’ve got to get to a shelter need to get to a shelter… there’s not many hours left.

“The winds are coming, there is not gonna be a lot of time now to be able to drive very far.”

Thousands of people on the mainland are currently without electricity.

The western Gulf coast is expected to be worst affected, with cities such as Tampa and St Petersburg in the path of the storm.

The Tampa Bay area, with a population of about three million, has not been hit by a major hurricane since 1921.

Some 50,000 people have gone to shelters throughout the state, Governor Scott said.

Media reports say shelters in some areas have been filling up quickly and some people have been turned away.

Miami and Broward county have imposed curfews to help clear the roads of traffic.

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Eric Bolling’s only child, 19-year-old Eric Chase, died on September 8, the day Fox News said it had parted company with his father.

Fox News suspended him last month after allegations he sent inappropriate photos to female co-workers.

Eric Bolling made the announcement in a tweet on September 9: “Adrienne and I are devastated by the loss of our beloved son Eric Chase last night. Details still unclear. Thoughts, prayers appreciated.”

The former Fox News host added: “Authorities have informed us there is no sign of self harm at this point. Autopsy will be next week. Please respect our grieving period.”

Image source Fox News

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Fox News said in a statement: “We are very saddened to hear of the passing of Eric Bolling’s son. Eric Chase was a wonderful young man and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bolling family.”

Eric Chase Bolling was a freshman at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Boulder police were investigating a death near the university, but Sgt. Nick Smetzer said the department would not release the circumstances of the death or identify the person who died.

Eric Bolling worked for Fox News for 10 years and had been considered a rising star, one of its more vociferous supporters of Donald Trump. He hosted The Specialists, which aired at 5pm ET each weekday.

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Fox News host Eric Bolling has left the network after being accused of sending inappropriate messages to female co-workers.

The network has announced they have decided to “part ways amicably”.

Eric Bolling was suspended in August as the network investigated accusations of inappropriate picture messages.

His lawyer described the claims at the time as “untrue and terribly unfair”.

It was the latest of several high-profile harassment cases at the conservative cable news outlet.

The allegations first emerged on the Huffington Post, which cited 14 unnamed sources claiming Eric Bolling had sent unsolicited photos to at least two female colleagues at Fox Business and Fox News.

Image source Fox News

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After initially suspending Eric Bolling pending an investigation, Fox News announced his departure on September 8.

Fox News said in a statement: “We thank Eric for his ten years of service to our loyal viewers and wish him the best of luck.”

They also confirmed they were canceling Eric Bolling’s show, The Specialists.

Eric Bolling’s lawyer, Michael Bowe, had previously told Reuters that he intended to co-operate with the investigation so Bolling could “return to work as quickly as possible.”

In August, Eric Bolling was allegedly suing the journalist who first broke the story for defamation, The Hill reported.

Other allegations of harassment involving top Fox News stars recently included Bill O’Reilly, who was dropped from the channel in April following reports that five women had received $13 million in payouts because of his behavior, and Roger Ailes, who resigned as chairman of Fox News following several accusations of harassment by female employees, which he denied. Bill O’Reilly denied the allegations. Roger Ailes died in May.

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Brock Long, the administrator of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has said that Hurricane Irma will “devastate” either Florida or neighboring states.

He said parts of Florida would be without power for days. Half a million people in the state have been ordered to leave their homes.

Hurricane Irma has left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean, affecting an estimated 1.2 million people.

At least 20 people are known to have died so far.

Irma has been downgraded to a category 4 storm, but officials warn that it remains “extremely dangerous”.

According to the US National Weather Service, Irma was expected to bring wind speeds of around 165mph over the weekend as it hits Florida.

Brock Long said: “Hurricane Irma continues to be a threat that is going to devastate the United States in either Florida or some of the south-eastern states.”

“The entire south-eastern United States better wake up and pay attention,” he added.

The death toll continued to rise on September 8 in the Caribbean.

France’s Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said nine people were dead and seven missing in the French territory on St Martin, an island shared with the Netherlands, and St Barthélemy, known more commonly as St Barts. Another death – the second – has been confirmed in the Dutch territory of Sint Maarten.

French officials said six out of 10 homes on Saint-Martin were so badly damaged that they were uninhabitable.

The US Consulate General in Curacao said it believes an estimated 6,000 Americans are stranded on the island.

French, British and Dutch military authorities have deployed aid – including warships and planes equipped with food, water and troops – to their territories.

Irma, which most recently lashed the Turks and Caicos Islands and brought torrential rain to the Dominican Republic and Haiti, was headed towards Cuba and the Bahamas.

The worst of the storm is expected to hit east and central Cuba, with the eye of the storm predicted to pass between the north coast of Cuba and the Bahamas, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Image source Flickr

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About 50,000 tourists are fleeing or have fled Cuba, with resorts on the north coast now empty, Reuters reports.

A huge evacuation of south-eastern, low-lying coastal areas in the Bahamas has been ordered. The tourism ministry said in a video statement that thousands of tourists left before the storm’s arrival.

Meanwhile Brock Long predicted a “truly devastating” impact on Florida.

South Florida “may be uninhabitable for weeks or months” because of the storm, the US National Weather Service said.

On the archipelago of Turks and Caicos, with its population of about 35,000, one witness described a drop in pressure that could be felt in people’s chests.

Irma ripped off roofs on the capital island, Grand Turk, flooded streets, snapped utility poles and caused a widespread black-out.

Irma also caused some damage to roofs, flooding and power outages in the northern parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Irma is due to hit Florida as a category 4 hurricane on September 10, bringing storm surges and flooding.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said on September 7: “If you look at the size of this storm, it’s huge.”

“It’s wider than our entire state and could cause major and life-threatening impacts on both coasts – coast to coast.”

President Donald Trump said: “I can say this: Florida is as well prepared as you can be for something like this. Now it’s just a question of what happens.”

Hurricane and storm surge warnings have been issued for south Florida and the Florida Keys, the NHC says.

President Trump’s own Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach is among those ordered to evacuate, the Washington Post tweeted.

After ripping through Florida’s Atlantic coast, Irma is expected to move into Georgia and South Carolina.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said a mandatory evacuation on the state’s Atlantic coast was scheduled to begin on September 9.

Roads and airports have been jammed as thousands of people tried to evacuate areas at risk, with reports of fuel shortages and gridlock on some roads.

Many tourists are stranded with no seats left on flights back to their countries as flights to and from airports in Florida are being suspended.

Orlando’s international airport said commercial flights would stop from 17:00 local time on September 9.

Another storm, Jose, further out in the Atlantic behind Irma, is now a category 4 hurricane, with winds of up to 120mph.

Hurricane Katia, in the Gulf of Mexico, has strengthened to a category 2 storm, with winds of up to 85mph. A warning is in effect for the coast of the Mexican state of Veracruz and the storm is expected to make landfall on September 9.

Equifax has revealed that about 143 million US customers may have had information compromised in a cyber security breach.

The credit report giant said cyber-criminals accessed data such as Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses during the incident.

Some UK and Canadian customers were also affected.

Equifax’s core consumer and commercial credit databases were not accessed.

The company said hackers accessed the information between mid-May and the end of July, when it discovered the breach.

Malicious hackers won access to the company’s systems by exploiting a “website application vulnerability”, it said but provided no further details.

The hackers accessed credit card numbers for about 209,000 consumers, among other information.

Equifax chairman and CEO Richard Smith said the incident was “disappointing” and “one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do”.

“I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes,” he said.

“We pride ourselves on being a leader in managing and protecting data, and we are conducting a thorough review of our overall security operations.”

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Equifax said it was working with law enforcement agencies to investigate and had hired a cyber-security firm to analyze what happened. The FBI is also believed to be monitoring the situation.

The company said it would work with regulators in the US, UK and Canada on next steps. It is also offering free credit monitoring and identity theft protection for a year.

Equifax said it had set up a website – www.equifaxsecurity2017.com – through which consumers can check if their data has been caught up in the breach. Many people trying to visit the site reported via social media that they had problems reaching it and that security software flagged it as potentially dangerous.

The breach is one of the largest ever reported in the US and, said experts, could have a significant impact on any Americans affected by it.

Equifax holds data on more than 820 million consumers as well as information on 91 million businesses.

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At least nine people died after Hurricane Irma hit Caribbean causing widespread destruction and reducing buildings to rubble.

The small island of Barbuda is said to be “barely habitable”. Officials warn that St Martin is almost destroyed, and the death toll is likely to rise.

Irma, a category five hurricane, the highest possible level, is passing north of Puerto Rico.

Two other storms have strengthened to become hurricanes.

More than half of St Martin’s three million residents were without power as Irma caused heavy downpours and strong winds. Officials have said that power could be cut off for several days.

The most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade had wind speeds of 185mph and was expected to pass near or just north of the coast of the Dominican Republic on September 7.

Hurricane Irma first hit the dual-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda. At least one death, of a child, was reported on Barbuda, where PM Gaston Browne said about 95% of the buildings had suffered some damage.

“It’s absolute devastation,” he said after flying over the island, home to some 1,600 people.

“The island is literally under water. In fact, I’m of the view that, as it stands now, Barbuda is barely habitable.”

Image source Air Combat Command

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However, Antigua, with a population of 80,000, escaped major damage, with no loss of life, he said earlier.

Officials have confirmed at least eight deaths and considerable damage in the French territories of St-Martin and Saint Barthélemy, popularly known as St Barts.

Almost 95% of the island is destroyed, according to officials.

Significant damage was also reported in the Dutch section of St Martin, known as Sint-Maarten.

Sint-Maarten’s airport, the third largest in the Caribbean, has been destroyed.

The Dutch defense ministry said: “The picture is of many uprooted trees, houses without roofs and pleasure boats on land.”

According to media in the Netherlands, the Dutch navy has sent two ships from nearby Aruba and Curacao to assist locals.

President Donald Trump said he and his aides were monitoring Irma’s progress.

“But it looks like it could be something that will be not good. Believe me, not good,” he told reporters at the White House.

Projections suggest Irma could hit Florida on September 10.

Officials started evacuations of tourists and residents of Florida Keys, a resort archipelago.

Flights to and from several airports in Florida were being suspended, while Orlando’s international airport said that commercial flights would stop from 17:00 local time on September 9.

A state of emergency had been declared for Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, mobilizing federal disaster relief efforts.