Irene pummels Puerto Rico

Hurricane Irene, 22 Aug 2011 (courtesy NOAA)

The first hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic season has battered the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico and has the Dominican Republic next on its list.

Irene, with maximum winds of about 130 km/h, knocked out power to almost half of the island’s residents.

The storm is moving toward the Bahamas on a path that could take it to the U.S. mainland and Florida by week’s end.

The ninth named storm so far this year, Irene is bringing drenching rains with up to 300 mm expected in some areas.

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