The destruction in Saint Martin. Source: WIC News Facebook

US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) says Hurricane Irma will likely make landfall in Florida this weekend.

The NHC has said the storm will likely be downgraded to Category 4 before making landfall in the US.

The Miami-based centre confirmed Hurricane Irma is the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean.

Hurricane Irma has wreaked havoc in the Caribbean this week, as a Category 5 storm it has devastated much of the region.

More than eight people have been reported as killed on four islands in the region.

Antigua and Barbuda was hit the hardest in the region. Prime Minister Gaston Browne has spoken to local television broadcasters, saying that the northernmost island of Barbuda, with some 1,700 residents, was “totally demolished”.

It is believed one person has died there, as well as an extreme level of destruction of homes, with a reported 90 percent of houses destroyed.

Mr. Browne said to ABS Television Radio the “rebuilding initiative will take years” in Antigua and Barbuda, with a snapped telecommunications tower amongst the devastation.

Damage in the country is estimated at US$150 million.

The storm had maximum sustained wind power of 185 miles per hour, according to the NHC in Miami.

The current path of Hurricane Irma is set to touch the northern coast of the Dominican Republic this afternoon.