A picture released on the Facebook account of Kevin Barrallon on September 7, 2017 shows flooded houses in Gustavia on the French overseas collectivity of Saint-Barthelemy in the Caribbean following hurricane Irma. Hurricane Irma sowed a trail of deadly devastation through the Caribbean, reducing to rubble the tropical islands of Barbuda and St Martin and claiming at least seven lives. Pic/AFP
A picture released on the Facebook account of Kevin Barrallon on September 7, 2017 shows flooded houses in Gustavia on the French overseas collectivity of Saint-Barthelemy in the Caribbean following hurricane Irma. Hurricane Irma sowed a trail of deadly devastation through the Caribbean, reducing to rubble the tropical islands of Barbuda and St Martin and claiming at least seven lives. Pic/AFP

Hurricane Irma, described as one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century, has killed at least six people in the French Caribbean island territory of Saint Martin, a local government official said.

"This is not, by far, a definitive number...we have not explored all the parts of the island," Guadeloupe prefect Eric Maire told reporters, adding the death toll was likely to rise in the next few hours. Hurricane Irma had previously been described as a "potentially catastrophic" storm placed in Category 5, the highest U.S. classification for hurricanes.