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Storm forms, may affect BVI

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Tropical Storm Irma has formed in the eastern Atlantic, and may affect the British Virgin Islands.

“Residents are urged to monitor the tropical storm as it has the potential to affect the British Virgin Islands in the coming days,” said the territory’s Department of Disaster Management (DDM).

It added, “Preparations should be made in the event immediate action is necessary to respond to a Tropical Storm Watch or Warning, or Hurricane Watch or Warning.”

The DDM, which said it will continue to provide updates on the storm, is not an official Meteorological Office. But the information it disseminates is gathered from a number of professional sources – some contracted to provide such information.

“According to the National Hurricane Centre, at 11AM AST (1500 UTC), the centre of Tropical Storm Irma was located near latitude 16.4 north, longitude 30.3 west. Irma is moving toward the west near 13 mph (20 km/h) and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days,” DDM said.

It continued: “Satellite wind data indicate that the maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Irma could become a hurricane on Friday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1004mb (29.65 inches).”

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