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The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and the Saint Lucia Meteorological Services continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Irma which has intensified into a major category 3 hurricane in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean.

According to the St. Lucia Meteorological Services, as at 5 a.m. on Friday September 1, 2017, the centre of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 18.2 North, longitude 36.5 West or about 1665 miles or 2680 kilometers east of the Leeward Islands. Irma is moving toward the west northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h).

A turn toward the west is expected by tonight, followed by a turn toward the west-southwest on Saturday.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts and some fluctuation in strength is possible during the next few days. However, Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through the weekend.

In light of this, NEMO urges residents and visitors alike to closely monitor the progress of this storm and to listen to advisories from the Saint Lucia Meteorological Services and NEMO. The public is also strongly encouraged to take the necessary steps to be prepared for any severe weather which may be experienced as a result of this tropical cyclone.

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