The eye of Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century, grazed the Turks and Caicos Islands, rattling buildings after it smashed a string of Caribbean islands and killed 14 people on its way to Florida.

With winds of around 290 kilometres per hour (km/h), the storm the size of France has ravaged small islands in the northeast Caribbean in recent days, including Barbuda, Saint Martin and the British and US Virgin Islands, ripping down trees and flattening homes and hospitals.

On Thursday, winds dipped to 265km/h as Irma soaked the northern coasts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti and brought hurricane-force winds to the low-lying Turks and Caicos Islands.

Al Jazeera's Senior Meteorologist Richard Angwin reports.

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