Speed Reading — Hurricane Irma - Level 5 — 200 wpm

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A record-breaking hurricane is causing death and destruction in the Caribbean. On Thursday, Hurricane Irma devastated Caribbean islands, including Barbuda and St. Martin. The Prime Minister of Barbuda said about 95 per cent of the buildings on the island had been damaged. He said: "It's absolute devastation. The island is literally under water….Barbuda is barely habitable." A government official for St Martin said: "There is massive destruction. We'll [focus] our first efforts so that in the next hours, people can get access to food and drinking water."

Hurricane Irma is a category 5 storm – the strongest on the 1-5 scale. It is the strongest ever hurricane recorded east of the Caribbean Sea. Irma has had wind speeds close to 300kph for more than 24 hours. This is the longest period ever recorded. Hurricane Irma is over 1,200km wide. It is likely to be a Category 4 when it hits Florida on Saturday morning. Florida officials have already ordered people to evacuate the southern part of the state. Residents there are getting ready for winds of up to 300kph. There will also be massive and damaging storm surges.

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