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  • Hurricane Irma is driving toward Florida passing the eastern end of Cuba in this NASA

    Hurricane Irma is driving toward Florida passing the eastern end of Cuba in this NASA's GOES-16 satellite image taken at about 0800 EDT on September 8, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Some of the Hurricanes names – and sustained wind strengths – to visit the Caribbean over the past 93 years.

Hurricane Irma’s reach is far and wide and her footprint covers entire territories. But while it’s by no means the Atlantic’s first major Category 5 hurricane - 32 of which hit the region between 1924 and 2017, 7 in August and 19 in September, according to the meteorologists – it’s certainly the worst yet.

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The longest lasting hurricane – before Irma -- was Hurricane “Cuba” in 1932 that lasted 78 hours. The next longest was Allen in 1980 lasting 72 hours, followed by Ivan (2004) with 60 hours.

But (at time of writing) Irma had already long past 96 hours and can last till Sunday.

Irma has packed the fastest and strongest winds of any hurricane in the Atlantic.

However, there have been four previous ones that packed equally high winds: Allen (1980) clocked 190 miles per hour (mph), while Gilbert (1988) and Wilma (2005) each hit 185 mph.

An earlier one also hit the Florida Keys in 1935 at 185 mph.

Caribbean hurricanes have also been quite costly in human lives: “San Felipe” killed 2,748 people in Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico and Florida in 1928.

Hurricane Rita (2005) also left heavy damage in the region.

Hurricane Janet (1955) was the most powerful tropical cyclone of that year’s hurricane season and one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record.

Hurricane Hugo (1989) also visited damage on the region, while Hurricane Ivan (2004) was large, long-lived and caused widespread damage as well to both the Caribbean and the USA.

For some unexplained reason, early hurricanes in the 20th Century were given names of islands where they hit (see the first 8 names in table below), later to be replaced by human names, in alphabetical order.

It is also worth noting that of the first 8 systems recorded up to 1938, three were named “Cuba”; and that records ceased from the start of World War II in 1939 and didn’t resume until 1953, 8 years after the war ended.

Below are some of the Hurricanes names – and sustained wind strengths – to visit the Caribbean over the past 93 years:

“Cuba” – hit on October 19, 1924 at 165 mph (270 kph)

“San Felipe II” (also called “Okeechobee”) – hit on September 13-14, 1928 at 160 mph (260 kph)

“Bahamas” – hit on September 5-6, 1932 at 160 mph (260 kph)

“Cuba” – hit on November 5-8, 1932 at 175 mph (280 kph)

“Cuba-Brownsville” – hit on August 30, 1933 at 160 mph (260 kph)

“Tampico” – his on September 21, 1933 at 160 mph (260 kph)

“Labour Day” – hit on September 3, 1935 at 185 mph (295 kph)

“New England” – hit on September 19-20, 1938 at 160 mph (260 kph)

Carol – hit on September 3, 1953 at 160 mph (260 kph)

Janet – hit on September 27-28, 1955 at 175 mph (280 kph)

Carla – hit on September 11, 1961 at 175 mph (280 kph)

Hattie – hit on October 30-31, 1961 at 160 mph (280 kph)

Beaulah – hit on September 20, 1967 at 160 mph (260 kph)

Camille – hit on August 16-18, 1969 at 175 mph (280 kph)

Edith – hit on September 9, 1971 at 160 mph (260 kph)

Anita – hit on September 2, 1977 at 160 mph (260 kph)

David – hit on August 30-31 1979 at 175 mph (280 kph)

Allen – hit on August 5-9, 1980 at 190 mph (305 kph)

Gilbert – hit on September 13-14, 1988 at 185 mph (295 kph)

Hugo – hit on September 5, 1979 at 160 mph (260 kph)

Andrew – hit on August 3-24, 1992 at 175 mph (280 kph)

Mitch – hit on October 26-28, 1998 at 185 mph (285 kph)

Isabel – hit on September 11-14, 2003 at 165 mph (270 kph)

Ivan – hit on September 9-15, 2004 at 165 mph (270 kph)

Emily – hit on July 16, 2005 at 160 mph (260 kph)

Katrina – hit on August 28-29, 2005 at 175 mph (280 kph)

Rita – hit on September 21-22, 2005 at 180 mph (290 kph)

Wilma – hit on October 19, 2005 at 185 mph (295 kph)

Dean – hit on August 18-21, 2007 at 175 mph (280 kph)

Felix – hit on September 3-4, 2007175 mph (280 kph)

Mathew – hit on October 1, 2016 at 165 mph (270 kph)

Irma -- started on September 5, 2017 at 185 mph (295 kph)


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