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Hurricane Irma strengthens to Category 3 over eastern Atlantic

Hurricane Irma on Thursday strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane over the eastern Atlantic and was headed towards the Caribbean, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory.

Irma 'expected to be an extremely dangerous hurricane for the next several days'

Forecasters say Irma became a Category 3 hurricane Thursday in the eastern Atlantic. (National Hurricane Center)

Hurricane Irma on Thursday strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane over the eastern Atlantic and was headed towards the Caribbean, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory.

In an earlier statement at 11 a.m. ET, the NHC said Irma is "expected to be an extremely dangerous hurricane for the next several days."

Irma is located about 3,000 kilometres east of the Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 155 km/h, the Miami-based weather forecaster said.

NHC forecast models were showing it heading for the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and neighbouring Haiti with possible landfall by the middle of next week.

With files from CBC News

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