Force four out of five: Hurricane “Ian” hit Florida’s west coast


Hurricane Ian made landfall on the west coast of Florida. The center of the four out of five hurricane hit the coast near the town of Cape Coral. It is therefore an “extremely dangerous hurricane” that, due to wind speeds of up to 220 kilometers per hour, will probably lead to meter high storm surges, flooding and heavy rainfall. In Cuba, “Ian” caused great destruction. In the US too, there are fears of damage to infrastructure and communication lines and of large-scale and persistent power cuts.

Evacuation instructions are in place for 2.5 million people in the region. The first photos and videos (above) were seen in the vicinity of the cities of Fort Myers Beach, Cape Coral and Naples, as the website Poweroutage showed.

Time window closes
The time window is closing, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had warned for the affected population late Tuesday evening. “You need to get to safety now or you’ll feel the severe effects of the storm pretty soon,” he said.

Strongest hurricane in about 100 years
The region expected to be hit by the storm has not seen a hurricane like this in about 100 years, warned Deanne Criswell of the US disaster management agency Fema. It is important that people new to the southeastern state and with little experience with hurricanes take this matter seriously. Floods can damage or destroy many buildings.

The United States Department of Defense said more than 3,200 members of the Florida National Guard have been activated, with another 1,800 standing by if needed. Florida has positioned soldiers and equipment at bases across the state to prepare them for deployment in storm-hit areas, a Washington ministry spokesman said. This allows the National Guard to clear streets and assist in search and rescue operations.

The hurricane’s foothills had already reached the city of Key West, the southernmost point of Florida, on Wednesday evening. Images of flooded streets and meters high waves could be seen on social networks. The hurricane center had warned of more than three and a half meters high “life-threatening” storm surges on the peninsula.

“Ian” made landfall in Cuba on Tuesday as a Category Three of Five hurricane. In Pinar del Río province, which has been particularly hard hit, two people have died after their homes collapsed, the Cuban government said Tuesday. The power went out nationwide. The state electricity supplier UNE announced that overnight and morning supply would be gradually restored.

Due to the power outages and disruptions in Internet access and telephone connections, information from the particularly affected areas in Cuba only gradually reached the public. Photos painted a picture of great destruction – they showed debris in the streets, houses under water, trees uprooted, houses covered and streets under water. “The damage is extensive, although not yet statistically recorded,” President Miguel Díaz-Canel wrote on Twitter after visiting the province of Pinar del Río.

Source: Krone


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