Trump receives 'comprehensive update' on Hurricane Irma

Wreckage cause by Hurricane Irma in the British Virgin Islands. Pic Caribbean Buzz Helicopters

Image Wreckage cause by Hurricane Irma in the British Virgin Islands. Pic Caribbean Buzz Helicopters

U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday called Hurricane Irma "a big monster" and said the storm would cost a lot of money but that the federal government was focused on saving lives.

The president and Mrs. Trump invited members of the Cabinet and their spouses to Camp David for the weekend, the White House said.

The meeting was to discuss federal preparations for Hurricane Irma as the Category 3 storm prepares to strike Florida. "When you go in there, you don't know if you're going to come out".

Donald Trump has called on the U.S. citizens to evacuate from the areas that might be affected by the devastating Hurricane Irma.

A video released by the White House of Trump's briefing inside Laurel Lodge at Camp David showed Trump flanked by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and posters of Florida with projections of the storm's path.

A White House official said that Trump and First Lady Melania Trump were keeping people affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in their prayers, and encouraged everyone to listen to local authorities, reported the Washington Examiner.

About 1.2 million residents were already without power, Duke said, reiterating that outages could affect as many as 5 million people.

NASA animation shows paths taken by three Caribbean hurricanes
Video NASA tracks path of three hurricanes over 72 hours

"We're not playing politics, we're just doing what's right", Trump said.

"This is a storm of absolutely historic destructive potential".

He also said the lives and livelihood of many Americans - possibly from the very climate change-denying sections that had chosen Trump president - "will be at risk if Trump and his administration continue to deny the existence of climate change and its impact on the threat posed by hurricanes".

Earlier, Trump's homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said that he had spoken to Pentagon and State Department officials and insisted they were prepared to tackle Irma response efforts quickly.

"We need to take this seriously", he said. "We'll be there with resources and support to save lives and help build lives".

The White House also said the president also issued a disaster declaration on Puerto Rico on Sunday and expanded federal funding available to the US Virgin Islands in the wake of the hurricane.

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