September 9, 2017 / 12:27 PM / 15 days ago

NHC says Irma forecast to strengthen once it moves away from Cuba

The Miami skyline is seen in the background as boys fish ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irma in Miami Beach, Florida, U.S. September 8, 2017. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

(Reuters) - Hurricane Irma dipped in intensity as it passed over Cuba, with maximum sustained wind speeds falling to 130 miles per hour (215 km/h), but is forecast to regain strength as it moves away from the island, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Saturday.

The storm will reach the Florida Keys on Sunday morning and is expected to be near the southwest coast of Florida on Sunday afternoon, the NHC said. Irma would remain a powerful hurricane as it approaches Florida, it said.

Reporting by Daniel Flynn; Editing by Dale Hudson

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