A Hurricane Watch has been issued for Antigua and Barbuda as Hurricane Jose approaches the Leeward Islands.

A Hurricane Watch means hurricane conditions are possible within 48 Hours.

Barbuda was devastated by the passage of Hurricane Irma on Wednesday.

Nearly every building on the island of Barbuda was damaged when the eye of the storm passed almost directly over the island.

About 60 percent of the island’s roughly 1,400 people were left homeless, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne told The Associated Press.

“Either they were totally demolished or they would have lost their roof,” Browne said after returning to Antigua from a plane trip to the neighboring island. “It is just really a horrendous situation.”

He said roads and telecommunications systems were destroyed and recovery will take months, if not years.

A two-year-old child was killed as a family tried to escape a damaged home during the storm, Browne told the AP.

A state of emergency has been declared in Antigua and Barbuda.

Meanwhile, a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Anguilla, Montserrat, St Kitts, and Nevis, Saba and St. Eustatius.

At 1100 AM, the center of Hurricane Jose was located near latitude 14.9 North, longitude 50.6 West.

Jose is moving toward the west-northwest near 18 mph (30 km/h).

The hurricane is expected to continue on this heading with a slight decrease in
forward speed during the next couple of days.

Maximum sustained winds are near 90 mph (150 km/h) with higher

Strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Jose is expected to become a major hurricane on Friday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the
center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles
(130 km).

The Dominica Meteorological Service has said Dominica will be affected by the hurricane with gusty winds, heavy to moderate rainfall and high seas on Friday and Saturday.