Irma weakens, leaves 28 dead

Agencies |   Sep 12,2017 , 03:24 AM IST


Miami: Irma continued its march north on Monday morning, dumping rain across the width of Florida and lashing the state with powerful winds that downed power lines and left millions in the dark.

The National Hurricane Center said Irma had weakened to a tropical storm but cautioned that it was still capable of throwing off wind gusts that were near hurricane force.

Losing some of its deadly strength but retaining its vast size, the storm stretched from Florida’s Gulf Coast to the Atlantic as it churned past Tampa.

Irma came ashore on the mainland as a Category 2 hurricane, flooded parts of downtown Miami and knocked over construction cranes there as winds exceeded 100 miles per hour. 

The storm killed at least 28 people as it raged westward through the Caribbean en route to Florida. Irma was ranked a Category 5, the rare top end of the scale of hurricane intensity, for days, and carried maximum sustained winds of up to 185 mph (295 kph) when it crashed into the island of Barbuda on Wednesday.

Ahead of Irma's arrival, some 6.5 million people in southern Florida, about a third of the state's population, were ordered to evacuate their homes.