Hurricane Irma becomes Category 5 storm again

Hurricane Irma regained Category 5 status late Friday as the core of the storm made landfall in Cuba with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph, the US National Hurricane Center said.

The massive storm edged closer to US landfall in the Florida Keys after leaving a trail of devastation and death in much of the Caribbean as it advanced toward South Florida.

Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center say the storm's wind speeds will increase after Irma passes Cuba then slips into the extremely warm waters near the Keys.

"Nowhere in the Florida Keys will be safe," the National Weather Service tweeted.

There were worries the storm's most powerful winds, on the northeastern side of the core, could pummel Miami, but it appears the city will avoid a direct hit, while still getting pounded by strong winds, storm surge and heavy rains.

At least 24 people were killed this week when Irma pummeled northern Caribbean islands such as Barbuda and the Virgin Islands. cnn.com