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Hurricane Irma intensifies over eastern Atlantic

Click to play video 'Hurricane Irma continues to move closer to Caribbean Sea' Hurricane Irma continues to move closer to Caribbean Sea
ABOVE: Hurricane Irma is picking up power as it continues to form over the eastern Atlantic and move toward the Caribbean, and is expected to become a Category 4 hurricane by the weekend – Sep 1, 2017

Hurricane Irma has strengthened over the eastern Atlantic and is forecasted to become a major storm by Thursday evening, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory on Thursday.

Irma is expected to be an extremely dangerous hurricane for the next several days, it said.

READ MORE: Hurricanes in Canada: How often they hit and who is at risk

The storm is located about 2,975 km east of the Leeward Islands and has sustained winds of 155 km/h, the Miami-based weather forecaster said. An AccuWeather forecaster said the storm will take about a week for the system to make its trek westward across the Atlantic Ocean.

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Earlier this week, Halifax meteorologist Jim Murtha said this system could bring heavy rainfall and strong winds to parts of Atlantic Canada.

While currently a Category 2 storm, Irma’s winds could strengthen over the next two days, pushing the hurricane to Category 3 or Category 4, the Miami Herald reported.