Just days after Harvey slammed into the US Gulf Coast with deadly consequences, another hurricane poses a "significant" threat to the Caribbean.
Irma, a category three storm which is getting stronger, is bearing down on the region and could dump up to 25cm of rain and cause landslides, flash floods and seven-metre high waves.
It could also hit the continental US, including parts of Florida, but it is too soon so say for sure as its path was uncertain.
The islands of Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Martin, Saba, St Eustatius, St Maarten and St Barts have all been issued with hurricane warnings.
A less significant hurricane watch was in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, the British and US Virgin islands and Guadeloupe, while a tropical storm watch was issued for Dominica.
Forecasters have said Irma is a classic 'Cape Verde hurricane', which forms in the far eastern Atlantic near the Cape Verde Islands then moves all the way across the Atlantic.
Hurricane warning for portions of the Leeward Islands, Hurricane watch for British & U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico #Irma
16:08 - 4 Sep 2017
23 807 423 NHC Atlantic Ops
The storm was heading towards the Leeward Islands with wind speeds of 120mph.
Antigua prime minister Gaston Browne has ordered workers to clear drains and prune trees as branches could down power lines in strong winds.
He said: "The passage of a hurricane is not a matter to be taken lightly, but we must not panic."
Governor of US territory Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, said 10-20cm of rain were expected, as well as winds of 40-50mph as he warned of flooding and power cuts.
Hurricane watches are in effect for the Nrn Leeward Islands. TS force winds are most likely to begin late Tuesday.
04:01 - 4 Sep 2017
20 568 322 NHC Atlantic Ops
Ronald Jackson, head of the Caribbean disaster emergency management agency, said: "We're looking at Irma as a very significant event.
"I can't recall a tropical cone developing that rapidly into a major hurricane prior to arriving in the central Caribbean."
Florida governor Rick Scott urged the state's residents to ensure their disaster supply kits were ready.
"FL (Florida) knows how important it is to be prepared. Encourage your loved ones to have a plan ahead of any potential storm," he tweeted.
"Disaster preparedness should be a priority for every Florida family."
Dozens of people were killed in floods in Texas as storm Harvey ravaged the state.


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