Palm tree being blown about on empty beach in the Bahamas
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Hurricane Irene strengthens on US approach

Hurricane Irene has battered several islands in the Caribbean as it grows in strength, with winds of up to 120mph (190km/h) lashing the Bahamas.

The first hurricane of the Atlantic season, expected to hit the east coast of the US by the weekend, also caused severe flooding and power cuts in the Dominican Republic.

Dominic Kane reports.