Saturday, January 28

Warning of “catastrophic” effects as Hurricane ‘Ian’ hits Florida

  • The category 4 storm, with sustained winds of 240 kilometers per hour, makes landfall at 3:05 p.m. near Cayo Costa

  • It is warned that it is “extremely dangerous” and it is estimated that the floods can reach up to 5.5 meters

Florida he holds his breath again from the lash of a hurricane. Ianthe storm of category 4 that on Tuesday left the entire island of Cuba without electricity, arrived by southwest this Wednesday to the peninsula loaded with “extremely dangerous” items” and led the National Hurricane Center to warn of “catastrophic floods, winds and floods” imminent.

At 3:05 p.m. local time (9:05 p.m. in Spain), ‘Ian’ made landfall near Cayo Costa. he did it with sustained winds of 240 kilometers per hour, and although it was officially a category 4 hurricane, on the ground emergency managers were preparing as if it were a category 5, the maximum, according to Kevin Guthrie, director of the state Division of Emergency Management.

Although the greatest impact will be felt by the coast in the southwest of the peninsula, in the gulf of mexicoit is noted that the consequences will be felt for days throughout the statewhich ‘Ian’ will cross from coast to coast before continuing its course north, a path that has also caused alerts to be issued in states such as Georgia and South Carolina for the next few days.

“Tragic event”

“It will not be just a calvary 48 hours. It is going to be a tragic event in many ways,” he had warned. state governor Ron DeSantisin one of his informative sessions to the citizens and the press this Wednesday.

The Republican, one of the politicians who most sound like potential presidential candidate in 2024and which has been intensifying its fight in cultural wars for months, has parked its tense confrontation with the Joe Biden Administration and the Democrats and has been in constant contact with the president and the government federal, to whom it has given thank you publicly this Wednesday for disaster relief. DeSantis has requested emergency declarations for 67 counties.

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In addition to thousands of state employees, 5,000 members of the National Guard in Florida are already mobilized to respond to the crisis, as well as 2,000 more from neighboring states. And the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is also ready to provide assistance and has prepared generators and fuelas well as 3.7 million foods and 3.5 million liters of Water.

devastating floods

‘Ian’ is one of the most powerful storms to come in decades to the US, where in the last 30 years only two category 5 hurricanes have made landfall, in both cases in Florida. His problem, as Jamie Rhome, acting director of the National Hurricane Center, explained in another briefing, is that it is not only strong but also huge in size. And in addition to arriving loaded with winds and rains “extremely dangerous”, the storm threatens some of the worst floods ever recorded in the regionraising the risk of devastating floods.

Those floods have already been seen in areas like the Keys or in Fort Myers or Naples. Floodwaters from the storm, rises in sea level, reach up to 5.5 meters. ‘Ian’ also has the potential to produce “destructive waves”.

The Water It is precisely one of the deadliest elements of hurricanes. According to data from the US authorities, the 88% of deaths recorded in the country since 1953 by hurricanes are linked to floods and floods.

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Evacuations and power outages

Ken Graham, the director of the National Weather Service, has called ‘Ian’ a “historical event” and has assured that it is a storm from which it will be talked about “for years”. At the moment the hurricane has begun to leave hundreds of thousands of people without electricity in Florida. have been issued evacuation orders for millions of citizens.

The emergency medical and fire services have already stopped working in impact zones such as the county of Charlotte due to the insecurity that the conditions represent to carry out their work. Although in Tampa the mayor has lowered the forecast of the coup and now she estimates that ‘Ian’ will arrive weakened, she maintains the warning that “the danger has not passed.” The airport of the city closed on Tuesday, just one of several that have suspended operations and disrupted air traffic in the region.

Missing Migrants and Cuba in the Dark

The hurricane may have already claimed several lives. The Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP for its acronym in English) has reported that it is looking for 23 missing migrants after the raft in which they were trying to reach Florida sank “due to bad weather.” Four Cubans who were on the boat managed to swim to Stock Island, in the keys, after the shipwreck.

In its passage through Cuba, the hurricane reached category 3 and left the island in darkness after causing a widespread blackout Y two dead in Pinar del Rio province. “There is no electricity service in any part of the country right now,” he said Tuesday night Lazarus War, technical director of the state-owned Electric Union

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Related news

The hurricane made landfall at dawn in the province of Pinar del Río, western Cuba. There the state media reported two deaths. On the way to San Juan y Martínez, 190 km from Havana, one of the hardest hit places and an area of ​​tobacco plantations in Pinar del Río, they saw flooded crops, uprooted trees and downed cables everywhere, AFP journalists confirmed.

In the town of Consolación del Sur, Caridad Fernández, a 65-year-old housewife, contemplated the disaster on the threshold of her flooded home, with wet mattresses. The French roof tiles went with the hurricane. “We have everything damaged, but what we have is faith in maintaining life, and we have that. Everything comes out, except death,” said the woman with bags under her eyes after a long night. Cigar maker Yuslán Rodríguez, 37, toured nine nearly destroyed tobacco houses, including his own. “I don’t know what we are going to do this year with the (planting) campaign,” he said disconsolately. “It’s not this tobacco house, it’s all the tobacco houses in Consolación del Sur.”

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