The Ministry of Education in Antigua and Barbuda has ordered that all public educational institutions be closed today and tomorrow as the nation braces for the possible impact of Hurricane Irma.

In a weekend post on the Facebook page of Michael Browne, education minister, the “delayed opening” is due to the evolving uncertainty of the path of Hurricane Irma which is now a Category 3 system, posing an imminent risk to the northernmost Leeward Islands.

According to the Antigua Observer, the ministry is encouraging residents to take all “necessary action to secure life and property and urge all to prepare for any eventuality.”

The Antigua and Barbuda weather service said Irma was expected to bring heavy rains, rough surf and high winds to islands along the northern edge of the Antilles before eyeing the East Coast of the United States later this week.

Hurricane watches were yesterday posted for Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Martin, Guadeloupe and the British Virgin Islands.

Meanwhile, behind Irma, a disorganized area of showers and thunderstorms located hundreds of miles south-west of the Cabo Verde Islands will also need to be monitored for potential development.

This system will move into a favourable environment for organizing and gaining strength as it moves to the west-northwest toward the Lesser Antilles during the middle and latter part of this week.

The next storm in the Atlantic Basin would acquire the name Jose.

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