Color-enhanced IR satellite map of the Caribbean region showing category 5 Hurricane Irma.
A national shutdown has been ordered in the Turks and Caicos Islands as they await the arrival of Hurricane Irma.
Residents and visitors were advised to stay indoors and emergency services were halted.
At 5 p.m., Irma was 40 miles south of Grand Turk which was reportedly taking a battering. Roofs are off, utility poles have snapped and roads are flooded. The power is also out.
Residents of Providenciales were hunkered down to ride out the tempest.
According to the National Hurricane Centre, a hurricane warning remains in effect for the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the northern border with Haiti; in Haiti from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to Le Mole St Nicholas; southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands; Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus and Villa Clara, central and northwestern Bahamas. (SAT)