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When Katrina struck southern United States back in 2005, the social media age only just started gaining momentum. Facebook was two years old, Twitter was a budding concept in the mind of Jack Dorsey, and tiny YouTube was about to be bought by Google.
Now that Irma is barrelling through the Caribbean, these social networks are playing a major part in telling the developing story.
Don’t believe me? I bring proof: webcams.
Usually capturing idyllic scenes of blue water and sunshine, a number of webcams are stationed across the Caribbean are livestreaming the conditions beneath Irma’s anger.
These webcams tell the story of Hurricane Irma’s fierce wind and lashing rain
The cams are intermittent and low quality — understandably so — but allows users from across the world experience what it is to be trapped beneath a category 5 hurricane. These webcams may not be broadcasting for much longer considering the conditions they’re facing.
(Note: this article’s feature image makes that point a bit clearer.)
Saint Barthélemy is perhaps the best example, sitting just to the west of Irma’s current position.
The British Virgin Islands are also in the path of Irma, while conditions at the time of writing are seemingly much calmer than that on St. Barth.
Slightly south of the British Virgin Islands, the US Virgin Islands are also seemingly calm at present.
Another webcam on the island paints a similar picture.
Antigua and Barbuda — the latter experiencing the brunt of the storm — is currently streaming its ABS News channel live on Facebook.
Watch it below.
Puerto Rico is the next island in Irma’s path, and one resourceful person in San Juan is reportedly livestreaming the event from a hotel balcony. The streamer has also enabled comments on YouTube, so visitors can interact with the streamer as the storm makes landfall.
While the above stream has since been archived, another stream is currently broadcasting from a Puerto Rico hotel in the southeast of the country. The stream is courtesy of Ruptly.
On the mainland United States, the storm’s current forecast cone includes Florida. Tampa, at present, is remarkably calm.
The below webcam is located at the University of Tampa.
For more on Hurricane Irma’s social and internet impact, visit our dedicated hub here.