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Florida declares state of emergency as Hurricane Irma heads for region as Category 5 storm

A state of emergency has been declared in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida as Hurricane Irma heads for the region as a Category 5 storm that is expected to strengthen further before making landfall later Tuesday.

The storm was upgraded to Category 5 from Category 4 in the National Hurricane Center’s latest advisory, putting it at the highest level of the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Irma now has maximum sustained winds of 175 miles an hour, making it an extremely dangerous storm, the NHC warned. It stuck with its earlier forecast for the prospect that Irma will affect the United States:

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