By Joe Holden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Many people in the Philadelphia area have family and friends in Puerto Rico and they are worried about their safety.

In the latest radar and satellite images, Hurricane Irma is skirting perilously close to the northern coast of Puerto Rico.

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The monster category 5 hurricane is forecast to pack a punch wherever it may go.

It’s feared Irma could decimate island countries in its path.

“Everybody’s really nervous,” said Yalmar Velazquez.

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Velazquez has maintained regular contact with her family.

“This one in particular, this is a category 5, will have everybody a little shook up,” she said.

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Dramatic images reveal a pulverizing blow as the hurricane has characteristics that are nearly off the charts.

“Puerto Rico is prone to like mudslides and we have mountains and valleys, so flooding is a main concern and the winds because most of the houses are made out of wood,” said Velazquez.

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The storm has claimed at least two lives in the islands of St. Barts and St. Martin.