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APTOPIX Hurricane Irma
In this geocolor image captured by GOES-16 and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Irma, a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane, moves westward, Tuesday morning, Sept. 5, 2017, in the Atlantic Ocean toward the Leeward Islands. This image was captured as daylight moves into the area, right, with nighttime features on the left side of the image. Hurricane Irma grew into a dangerous Category 5 storm, the most powerful seen in the Atlantic in over a decade, and roared toward islands in the northeast Caribbean Tuesday on a path that could eventually take it to the United States. (NOAA via AP)

Hurricane Irma has become so strong it's registering on earthquake-detecting seismometers


Forecasters have said Hurricane Irma, which intensified to a Category 5 storm on Tuesday, is one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic.

In fact, the storm has become so strong that it's showing up on earthquake-detecting seismometers, Stephen Hicks, a seismologist at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom tweeted Tuesday.

"What we’re seeing in the seismogram are low-pitched hums that gradually become stronger as the hurricane gets closer to the seismometer on the island of Guadeloupe," Hicks told USA Today.

In a follow-up tweet he clarified that seismometers were likely picking up background noises, like wind causing trees to move or waves crashing.

The National Hurricane Center warned that Hurricane Irma "will bring life-threatening wind, storm surge and rainfall hazards" to the Caribbean islands in its path. As of Tuesday, the powerful storm had 185 mph winds as it approached the Leeward Islands.

President Donald Trump declared emergencies for Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands ahead of Irma's expected landfall.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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