Hurricane Irma hits Sint Maarten

NOAA Hurricane Hunters flying through the eye of Hurricane Irma
NOAA Hurricane Hunters flying through the eye of Hurricane Irma. (Photo: NOAA / Wikimedia Commons)

Hurricane Irma hit the island of Sint Maarten around 12:10 p.m. on Wednesday, Dutch time. The hurricane's eye is expected to pass the island between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., reports.

According to Weerplaza, the island can expect wind speeds of around 295 kilometers per hour, with even stronger gusts. The hurricane is also accompanied by heavy rains, which can cause flooding problems. 

Unfortunately, the hurricane does not allow for any form of communication. This means that the current weather data can not be seen. The highest wind speeds and biggest devastation will be at the edges of the eye of the hurricane. In the eye, the weather conditions will be much calmer. 

The power went out in a number of Sint Maarten neighborhoods. Radio stations are also dropping off the air one by one, according to  The island is on lockdown, no one is allowed outside. Sea water is flooding through the streets of the capital city. 

From their homes some people reported feeling the walls shake due to the strong winds, comparing it to an earthquake, according to the newspaper. Another reported seeing things fly through the air and massive flood waves, but the rain slowed down as the hurricane reached the island. 

A live webcam feed of the hurricane on Sint Maarten can be found here.

Irma is a class 5 hurricane, the strongest category of hurricane. Saba and Sint Eustatius are also facing the full force of the hurricane.