this is bbc news. i'm annita mcveigh. the headlines at 3pm. hurricane irma pounds cuba with winds of more than 150mph. the cuban authorities did try to move large numbers of people out of harm's way, but still many have been left, particularly in the central province. we understand there are many thousands ever people there without power at the moment. as the storm approaches florida, nearly six million people have been told to leave their homes. if you've been ordered to evacuate. you need to leave now. do not wait. evacuate. not tonight, not in an hour, you need to go right now. other caribbean islands, such as barbuda, already devastated by irma, are now bracing for the expected arrival of another hurricane, jose, over the weekend. the un warns of an unprecedented refugee crisis, after nearly 300,000 rohingya muslims flee from myanmar to bangladesh. and the manchester arena re—opens tonight with a benefit concert,
more than three months after the terrorist attack which killed 22 people. england's cricketers look set to wrap up the series against the west indies. they're chasing 107 for victory in the third test. coming up in click at 3. 30pm, the women fighting for tech recognition. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. hurricane irma is continuing to sweep its way across the caribbean, en route to the us coast, leaving a path of devastation. cuba is the latest island to be hit. the category four storm — it was category five, the highest,
but has eased slightly — made landfall off the north—eastern coast overnight bringing strong winds and heavy rain. communities have lost power and communication is becoming increasingly difficult in more remote areas. the bahamas have largely been spared after the storm changed course. this is irma's trajectory. it's expected to make landfall with us coast tomorrow, before heading inland. in florida, more than five million people — a quarter of its population — have been told to evacuate. and in the last few minutes, the governor of florida issued this advice to residents. the storm's here. hurricane irma is now impacting our state. south—east florida is experiencing tropical storm force winds and nearly 25,000 people have already lost power. hurricane irma is beginning to
batter the florida keys with dangerous winds and continues to repaina dangerous winds and continues to repain a catastrophic and life threatening category four storm with winds of 130mph. this is a deadly storm. interstate has never seen anything like this. millions of nor iddians will see —— floridians will see impact with storm surge and life threatening winds. the threat of significant storm surge floating along the east entire west coast of florida has increased. and six to 12 feet, think about that, of impacts above ground level is probable. six to 12 feet, this will cover your house. if you've seen how storm surge works, it flows in fast, very fast then it flows out. you will not survive all this storm surge. this isa survive all this storm surge. this is a life threatening situation. if you've been ordered to evacuate, you need to leave now. do not wait. evacuate. not tonight, not in an
hour. you need to go right now. if you're in an evacuation zone — leave. evacuations are in place across the state. more than 5. 6 million have been ordered to evacuate. you need to listen to local evacuation orders. if you live in an evacuation zone in south—west nor dark you need to be on the road by noon orfind nor dark you need to be on the road by noon or find the nearest shelter to avoid life threatening weather. its going to go faster possibly than you are. these winds are am coulding. —— winds are coming. if you're in this area and you're planning to leave and have not done so planning to leave and have not done so by noon, do not get on the road. if you're on the west coast trying to go north, i mean, you're going to have a hard time getting out. just remember this: 0nce have a hard time getting out. just remember this: once the storm starts, law enforcement cannot save you. i'm a dad and a grandfather. i love my family more than anything. i cannot imagine life without them. do
not put your life or your family's life at risk. right now is the time to do the right thing for you, yourself and your family. school buses are aiding evacuations. please ta ke buses are aiding evacuations. please take advantage of this service. if you need to leave and for whatever reason you're unable to leave, and you need help, whether it's fuel, whatever the issue is, called 1-800-342-3557 and we whatever the issue is, called 1—800—342—3557 and we will do everything possible to get you out. that was the governor of florida. a hard—hitting message to residents. florida, well, irma is expected to hit there tomorrow. cuba is already facing the full force of the hurricane. richard galpin reports. four days after hurricane irma first hit the caribbean, cuba is now feeling the full force of its deadly winds. gusts of more than 150 miles an hour, blasting these desolate
streets in the north. the destruction is going to be terrible and the economic situation is very bad. great international assistance is going to be needed. many houses are old and unstable, but so far it is not clear how much damage it has caused. what is clear, the category four hurricane will track along much of cuba's northern coast, before shifting north to the united states. already, thousands of people have moved away from the cuban coast, including british tourists. some of whom say the holiday company could have got them out of the country before the storm hit. they had a big window where they could have got some taken out, even if they chartered them from such as america. it seems like thomas cook have left is here where everyone else has been evacuated out of the country. in response, thomas cook says...
meanwhile, in southern florida, the next place expected to be hit by the hurricane, there has already been an unprecedented evacuation. more than five million people ordered to leave. for any people who have not already started driving out of the area, it is too late, according to the authorities. we have shelters in your community, go to those shelters. you can go to yourfamily, your friends, but go to those shelters. we don't want people on the road when the storm starts to hit. this is the destruction that hurricane irma has already caused on some of the islands it has passed over so far this week. this is barbuda,
or what is left of it. and now, another powerful hurricane, jose is fast approaching the same area. richard galpin, bbc news. let's go to havana now. 0ur correspondent will grant is in the cuban capital of havana. what is the latest you can tell us about the damage caused by irma to cuba? well, details are slowly beginning to emerge. it will take quite some time before we get a fuller picture. we are hearing that a lot of places, a lot of communities along that north coastline have been affected. storm surges bringing flooding into, for example, the picturesque or once picturesque fishing village nearby. then further along the coast in the
central province, we understand there is a lot of blackouts there. people are still trying to survive without power. we're still trying to find out broader details, but we know that whole area took a real battering and of course, irma is still moving along that coastline, causing damage as she goes. as you were saying yesterday, despite the good military infrastructure that there is, the strong military infrastructure in cuba itself, you know, when you've got a natural disaster of these proportions, there's only so much preparation you can do. it's more about, i guess, what that infrastructure can do to help afterwards. how quickly do you think help will get to the areas where it's needed? well, i think the government's mind is clearly focussed on this and this alone. it's been interesting to watch just how many resources have been pulled from different parts of the country and moved in that direction of the oncoming storm. of course, because of the one—party state that cuba is,
it can depend on various different layers of government right down to the street level, if you like. neighboourhood watch associations, they're called cdrs, they'll be turning out and supporting and helping those who are affected. but this goes way beyond that really. i mean, if there is the same sort of devastation that we've seen elsewhere in the caribbean, it will bea elsewhere in the caribbean, it will be a clean—up operation, and a sort of salvage operation. 0ne be a clean—up operation, and a sort of salvage operation. one can only think that there are a lot of communities and a lot of worried families all over the island, waiting to hear from that affected stretch. 0k, will, thank you very much for that. as you know, hurricane irma has caused widespread destruction across the caribbean, many islands are reported to be barely habitable. 0fficials warn that st martin is almost destroyed. i can speak now to sharmaine harford, who's concerned about the safety of her british
mother, who is in st martin. thanks for speaking to us. when did you last manage to speak to your mum? i've been fortunate in that i've been able to maintain correspondence with her since wednesday. i had a text m essa g e with her since wednesday. i had a text message from her last night. but obviously, with hurricanejose coming, i'm not sure those comms will be in place once it hits the island. what was she able to tell you about the situation there? had she managed to stay in her home? she was in her apartment. they were told that the apartment was able to with stand a cat five hurricane and it is. she had no electricity. the whole island is out. they have a generator there. she has been able to charge up her phone and keep in communication with me since it happened. she did say that there's a shortage of food, medical supplies, water and that looting has started. there have been quite a few looters. she said mostly market shops and shacks have been all looted. she's
staying in the porto area, which i believe isn't too far from the beach. she said it's rife with looters, some of them are armed. the local hospital has been taken over by loote rs. local hospital has been taken over by looters. a lot of people who have managed to make it to the hospital are being turned away because there isn't anyone there. there's no police presence. there are no officials, no authorities. shejust said the conditions are really bad and it's a scary time. it sounds very scary. she presumably is wary or doesn't want to lever the apartment where she is right now, because of this break down in security. that's correct. i understand she did have a visit from two marines. she didn't say what nationality they were. they advised her they were there to look for fatalities, bodies, really. they weren't there trying to bring aid or assist people in evacuation. she did mention that there's a large american community there and they
seem american community there and they seem to have some kind of evacuation process in place. i believe there's been — someone's managed to make it on the island and they're working to evacuate the american citizens. on the island and they're working to evacuate the american citizensm your mum on the dutch or french part of the island ? your mum on the dutch or french part of the island? i believe it falls just within the dutch part but it's on the border. so it's eitherjust in the french part or in the dutch territory. the reason i ask that is i'm wondering are you trying to make contacts from this end to try to help your mother and in which case who would you talk to to get help to her? my first port of call was the foreign office here in the uk. i called them the night the hurricane hit. 0bviously called them the night the hurricane hit. obviously it was too soon for them to give me any information. they just said them to give me any information. theyjust said she should follow them to give me any information. they just said she should follow the advice of authorities in st martin. then since then, they've set up a help line. i called them last night and they took her details and her location, but said that they're literally just making lists
location, but said that they're literallyjust making lists of people who are abroad and can't give any advice or provide further information. 0bviously because it is dutch and french territory, i've tried to contact the british embassy in paris. i believe it would be theirjob to intervene in this situation. i haven't had anyjoy with that. so i've been following twitter feed, social media, following the news, trying to see what information i can obtain. i haven't been able to obtain anything. at the moment, she'sjust saying what am i supposed to be doing? where am i supposed to go? i can't give her any information. doing? where am i supposed to go? i can't give her any informationm she trying to get back to the uk? is that what she wants to do? all she's saying to me is ijust need to get off the island. the conditions are really bad. i've also contacted her travel operator, who had rescheduled her flight. but given that — but they've let me know there's a likelihood it will be cancelled. they don't believe the airport will be up and running. she was due to fly back today. they rescheduled for monday. i doubt that will happen.
i'm sure you've seen pictures, the airport seems to be completely destroyed. thank you very much for talking to us. i hope that you gait some good news about your mum soon and that she manages to get home soon as and that she manages to get home soon as well. keep in touch with us and let us know how she gets on. thank you very much. we know irma is heading rapidly for florida. 0ur correspondent jane 0'brien is in miami now. a short while ago we were listening to a clip from the news conference that the governor of nor arick —— florida, rick scott gave. it was an uncompromising message. florida, rick scott gave. it was an uncompromising messagem florida, rick scott gave. it was an uncompromising message. it was pretty dramatic. he was saying if you're on the west coast where the hurricane is now heading, if you're not out by noon, don't bother. that's just two hours away. time is really running out here. people are very, very apprehensive. most people who have decided to leave have already left. this is the largest evacuation in the state's history now. but there are some die hards
who have decided, for whatever reason, to stick it out. one person who has got out is alex perez. he joins me now. you're from the florida keys. why have you decided to leave, because you haven't left before. no, never left for a storm. storms come through and they go by us. storms come through and they go by us. nothing happens. this storm is going to hit us and i don't want to be in it. i'd rather be out of it. some of your relatives are staying. yes, they feel comfortable inside key west, you know that's home. that's where they love to be, that's where they want to be. but it's getting dangerous down there. a direct hit right there is not good. how worried about them are you? i'm very worried. i wouldn't get out there if i didn't think it was an issue. everyone down there, i don't think they realise what's coming towards them. they're in their comfort zone. all the storms that
pass by, you know, we've got a thing with the reef, our grotto, that's supposed to protect us. it has so far. i'm hoping it still does. right now it's not looking too good. i think everyone needs to get out of there. there's no need to stick around. where are your children? they vacated with their grandparents in alabama. i sent them about three days ago on wednesday. i sent them up days ago on wednesday. i sent them up the road to keep them safe, out of harm's way. your families pretty scattered, are you able to stay in touch? we've been trying the best we can. a lot of people down in key west, my uncle, you know they were sticking around because we have a commercial fishing business. they tried to stay because we wanted to keep everything in tact. 0f tried to stay because we wanted to keep everything in tact. of course, protect the houses. we left in the middle of the night, i did. and everyone's plan was to scatter and get lost once the storm got closer. we don't know what's next from here. i have to contact them. one of the things the governor warned about was this incredible storm surge, several
feet of water. give me a brief description of what that could do? that could putt a lot of houses under water, a lot of people floating. we had one come through one time, the water was four feet. this is calling for six to ten feet plus the tide right now, it will wash away a lot of stuff. alex, good luck. i hope you get to see your kids soon. ma'am, i hope so too. everyone be safe. safety is the priority of this state now. and the problem is that once this storm starts, no help will come and this is the message we're hearing over and over again. after the storm, yes. but right now it's time to get into somewhere safe, take shelter and stay put. jane, thank you very much. earlier, bbc weather presenter, ben rich explained about the trajectory of hurricane irma and jose, which isn't far behind. it's been just
scraping along the north coast of cuba, but it's come close enough to wea ken cuba, but it's come close enough to weaken the storm a little bit. remember, these hurricanes, when they make contact with land, they tend to weaken. they need the warm waters of the ocean. this storm has weakened a little bit. sustained winds at the moment 130mph. down on where they have been. that still makes it a category four hurricane, as this storm continues to work its way westwards. then it looks like — this is what we're waiting for now really — it looks like the storm is going to track northwards towards florida. as it movers over warm water again it could strengthen further once again. it could be getting stronger as it heads towards florida. we saw, for example, it was predicted initially to hit the bahamas. it didn't. at least not in a major way. is there any doubt that florida is really going to feel the impact of irma? well, we've been tracking this for many days now. of course, the further out you get, as
with most of these weather situations, the greater the uncertainty becomes and yes, because a slightly further westwards track, the bahamas is in a much better position than we were perhaps expecting. in terms of florida, it seems likely in some way this storm will move towards florida. the forecast ta kes will move towards florida. the forecast takes it towards the south—west. if we run the graphic through saturday night into sunday, you'll see the way the storm system will edge across the warm water. sea temperatures around 31 degrees. that's why we think it could strengthen. it makes landfall towards the south—west of florida. thenifs towards the south—west of florida. then it's most likely to edge up the western side of particular that. places like tampa could see hey rain, extremely strong winds. the storm surge close to the coast as well. a real set of impacts that could cause devastating effects. word onjose, could cause devastating effects. word on jose, which could cause devastating effects. word onjose, which is right behind. is that normal to have two
hurricanes coming so close together? we are now at the peak, or approaching the peak, of the atla ntic approaching the peak, of the atlantic hurricane season. it's not that much of a surprise. jose is parting just to rt north of the lee wood islands. it likes like it won't make a direct hit to places like barbuda. this storm looks likely to move to the north and will not on current thinking head to cuba and florida. slightly different track, but not that unusual to get a couple of hurricanes at this time of year. there's plenty more on the website: the united nations is warning of an unprecedented refugee crisis in bangladesh. it says more than 250,000 people have fled from neighbouring myanmar in recent days — a dramatic increase on previous estimates. the muslim rohingya minority says
that myanmar‘s military has been attacking them and burning villages. the un says 270,000 people have crossed into bangladesh in just a fortnight. 0ur correspondent sanjoy majumder sent this report from the border between bangladesh and myanmar. that's the last village inside bangladesh. we've been told every village on the other side has a p pa re ntly village on the other side has apparently been burnt to the ground. a barbed wire fence separates the two countries. you can see the bangladesh border police on guard here. they've been saying over the past few days, they've seen increased military activity in this area. they've heard the sound of gunfire, also explosions. it's believed that side of the border is heavily mined. this is the main route that they're coming into bangladesh. translation: this morning we arrived here when we heard some gunfire. then we saw about 300 to 400 burmese soldiers walking on that side.
most went ahead. but some stayed back. people says they were planting landmines on the ground to prevent the rohingyas from crossing. the accusation is they're using anti—personnel landmines, banned by the international community. for tens of thousands of refugees already in bangladesh, more coming in every day, this is yet another thing that they have to be concerned about. rescue operations are under way in mexico after its most powerful earthquake in nearly a century killed more than 60 people. three of the poorest states in the country suffered the most, losing hundreds of buildings. president pena nieto has declared a national day of mourning. the bbc‘s juan paullier travelled to juchitan where the destruction is widespread. almost 2a hours after the earthquake, rescue operations
are still under way because one person is still missing here, a policeman that worked in the city town hall. part of the 19th—century building collapsed. this was the most affected place by the most powerful earthquake to hit the country in almost a century. it was also the biggest experienced anywhere this year. a few seconds were enough to leave behind a trail of destruction and reduce parts of this city to rubble. this is a tragedy and one of the poorest parts of mexico, and many people here are not only grieving over the deaths of their relatives, their friends, their neighbours, but also deeply distressed by the destruction of their hometown and concerned about their own immediate future.
they simply don't know where they're going to live. anti—brexit activists have gathered today in central london in what they call the "people's march for eu rally". sir bob geldof is among the speakers to address the crowd, who marched from hyde park to westminster to protest britain's departure from the eu. amy cole is at parliament square now. well there are huge crowds here at parliament square this afternoon, with protesters demanding that britain stays in the european union. now it's been organised by the people's march for europe, which carries the message — unite, rethink and reject brexit. they've been accusing the government of being hell bent on a destructive brexit. the liberal democrats have also featured quite prominently in this
march. the party says britain is stronger if it remains in the eu. earlier, we spoke to the leader, sir vince cable, who said that he would like to see a referendum on the fa cts . like to see a referendum on the facts. we're up for a proper debate this time. we think there should be a popular vote. the first vote on the facts once we know them. we've had a referendum on a vote in principle to leave. that's happened. we're not trying to rerun it. we will know in probably a couple of yea rs' will know in probably a couple of years' time, what the terms of leaving are. ask the people to choose — do they want to continue, evenif choose — do they want to continue, even if it meansjumping off a cliff? 0r even if it meansjumping off a cliff? or do they want an alternative, do they want an exit from brexit. that will be the choice. i think the results will be conclusive. i'm joined choice. i think the results will be conclusive. i'mjoined by one choice. i think the results will be conclusive. i'm joined by one of the protesters now, who works in london. why are you here today, why is this so why are you here today, why is this so important? i'm work in the london technology community. it's typical
for me, the various companies i've worked for a large proportion of my tea m worked for a large proportion of my team consists of eu employees. these aren't faceless statistics. these aren't faceless statistics. these are my colleagues and friends who have been left in limbo not knowing what's going to happen for them. goodness knows what kind of impression it gives them of the country and i don't want this to be a message that they're unwelcome after contributing, working hard, being bright and skilled, intelligent people. what impact do you think this demonstration can have? we are going to leave in 2019. people have told me that going on this march is just people have told me that going on this march isjust a people have told me that going on this march is just a waste of time. i've heard that. i'm involved in social media, people criticise me saying the people have spoken just get on with it. i feel like on such an important decision, i want my voice to be heard whether it makes a difference or not. at least i know i stood up for what i believe in. thank you very much forjoining me this afternoon. whether sir vince cable will get that referendum on the facts, there is going to be a
big question mark and of course, we are still set to leave march 2019. the manchester arena re—opens tonight, just three months after the terrorist attack which killed 22 people. the event will be headlines by the high flying birds. it's bound to be a night of mixed emotion. it is. it's going to be an incredibly emotional event this evening. of course, it's beenjust over 100 days since a bomb exploded here at the manchester arena, killing 22 people and injuring 59 others, among them many children and pa rents, others, among them many children and parents, the youngest of those who died wasjust parents, the youngest of those who died was just eight years old. tonight's event is very much about celebrating them, about remembering them. all the money which is made from this event will go towards a
permanent memorial. it is going to be emotional. there will be specialist counsellors. we must remember the staff. i saw them being briefed earlier and many of those will have worked that night when the concert took place. this event is all about creating a lasting memorialfor all about creating a lasting memorial for those all about creating a lasting memorialfor those who all about creating a lasting memorial for those who died. it's about celebrating them. on the bill, many people from the north—west, including noel gallagher, rick astley a nd including noel gallagher, rick astley and pixie lot. they will be here to put on a show which they say they want the people of manchester to reclaim this place as their own, to reclaim this place as their own, to celebrate all that is good in manchester and to demonstrate that they won't be cowed. 0f manchester and to demonstrate that they won't be cowed. of course, security measures will be tight here. there is extra security in place. i've seen a great number of police officers around in the car parks and the train station. there will be two entrances. people are being told not to bring back packs.
they are told only to bring small bags. there will be extra checks. they need to allow extra time for that. time now for the weather forecast with ben rich. we have seen some hefty showers move across the british isles today. they are going to fade away this evening. it leaves us with a lankly dry night with some clear spells. it will be chilly enough, particularly for central and eastern areas, for a few potential fog patches and central and eastern areas, for a few potentialfog patches and maybe central and eastern areas, for a few potential fog patches and maybe a touch of frost. in towns and cities, well down into single digits. cloud will thicken for scotland and northern ireland. hefty showers follow on into