The US approved the release of billions of genetically modified mosquitoes to reduce the transmission of diseases but critics point to possible unintended consequences.
Miami-based National Hurricane Center warned of life-threatening storm surges, flooding and isolated tornadoes as Tropical Storm Elsa began lashing the islands off the southern tip of the US state of Florida.
The storm heads north toward the Florida Keys, gaining slightly in intensity after leaving a trail of destruction through the Caribbean that claimed at least three lives.
Residents of the Florida Keys return to a completely different landscape. More than 25 percent of the homes are destroyed while 65 percent suffered major damage.
The storm was downgraded to Category 1 but not before it pummeled central Florida, leaving destruction in its wake.
Tampa Bay braces for the full impact of Irma, one of the fiercest Atlantic storms in a century, as it heads towards southwestern Florida, bringing the risk of severe floods.
Florida's governor warned that all of the state's 20.6 million inhabitants should be prepared to evacuate. Miami's beaches, normally packed with sun lovers, were deserted.
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