Deaths reported as the unprecedentedly powerful storm continues towards Haiti, Cuba, and possibly Florida, leaving devastation in its wake

Hurricane Irma, the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, claimed its first victims on Wednesday as it wrought a trail of devastation across the northern Caribbean and pressed relentlessly towards the US mainland.

The French government reported two deaths and two serious injuries on the islands of St Martin and St Barthelemy, which were among the first to suffer a direct hit from Irma’s 185mph winds and storm surge of up to 20ft. No further details were immediately available.

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