Hurricane Irene heads for the east coast of the United States

It is responsible for the deaths of at least four people in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.

Hurricane Irene, which left at least four deaths in the Caribbean, swept Thursday, August 25 the Bahamas and threatened to strengthen before reaching the East Coast of the United States, prompting the U.S. Navy to move its ships.

In the Bahamas, residents Thursday morning frightened seeing the destruction caused by Irene, the first major hurricane of the season in the Atlantic. Powerful gusts tore roofs, utility poles lying and destroyed homes. On Acklins Island, 90% of homes in the village of Lovely Bay were shattered, according to local security services (NEMA).

Irene went on his way to the more populated islands of the archipelago, causing dangerous waves and up to 30 inches of precipitation, said the U.S. Hurricane Center (NHC), based in Miami. A local 08h, the eye of the storm was located 105 km east-northeast of Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, and progressed at a speed of 20 kmh toward the northwest, according to the latest bulletin from the NHC .

This trajectory took him straight to the East Coast of the United States, the hurricane is located about 1,000 km from North Carolina, could hit Saturday. If its path is still uncertain, it is possible that Irene affects extremely dense urban centers like Washington or New York.

"We take it very seriously"

With winds of 185 km / h, Irene is a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson, who has five. But Irene, "is expected to strengthen" Thursday.

Faced with the threat of the storm, the U.S. Navy began to send all its ships at sea in the harbor of Hampton Roads (Virginia). "Our boats are more tolerant storms of this intensity when they sail," said the commander of the Second Fleet, Vice Admiral Daniel Holloway. "What ships are at sea can also make them available when needed (...), including efforts to participate in an emergency."

On the coast of North Carolina, the Outer Banks, a strip of sand over 150 km long, the authorities began Wednesday to evacuate the tourists. "It could be a very big hurricane, so we take it very seriously," said the governor of North Carolina, Bev Perdue.

At least four dead

The head of the U.S. Agency for emergencies, Craig Fugate, said emergency services were preparing for the arrival of the hurricane in North Carolina to New England. "It will be a big hurricane. It affects a zone does not mean it will not damage the coast further north," he warned.

So far, Irene has been at least four dead in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. In Haiti, "two people were killed, washed away a wild ravine" in Port de Paix in the north, according to Emergency Preparedness.

Irene has also caused flooding in several areas and the evacuation of a thousand people. Haitian health authorities were also concerned a possible increase in cholera cases in flooded communities in the north.