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The National Hurricane Center on Thursday said Hurricane Irma has strengthened to a Category 3 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, in the Atlantic Ocean.

In its 5 p.m. update, the NHC said Irma, which is about 1,725 miles east of the Leeward Islands and 775 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands, is rapidly intensifying over the eastern Atlantic Ocean as it moves west-northwest at a speed of 12 mph.

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