Storm hunters have flown into the eye of Hurricane Irma, capturing footage of the massive storm as it roars across the Caribbean.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s scientists flew a light plane through the eye of the strongest Atlantic Ocean hurricane ever measured on Tuesday (local time).
Video of the journey shows the storm’s towering eye wall as the plane flies through it.
Irma has slammed across islands in the northern Caribbean, packing a potentially catastrophic mix of pounding winds, raging surf and rain en route to a possible Florida landfall at the weekend.
The category five storm — the highest hurricane nomination by the US National Hurricane Centre — has maximum sustained winds of 295 kilometres per hour.
Irma’s precise trajectory is uncertain, but US President Donald Trump has declared emergencies in Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
It comes on the heels of Hurricane Harvey that killed dozens of people and displaced hundreds of thousands more in the south-eastern United States of Texas and Louisiana.