Hurricane Ian leaves Cuba in the dark and now threatens Florida

Hurricane Ian leaves Cuba in the dark and now threatens Florida

First modification:

Cuba suffered a widespread blackout as its electrical system was affected by the passage of Ian in the west of the island. No casualties have been reported, but damage from strong winds and rain has been reported. Now he is heading to Florida, in the USA, where the authorities declared a state of emergency.

Ian, which made landfall in the early hours of Tuesday morning in the western Cuban province of Pinar del Río, was 375 kilometers from Sarasota, Florida, in the afternoon and was moving at a speed of 17 kilometers per hour with strong winds. sustained 195 kilometers per hour.

No casualties have been reported so far, according to Cuban authorities, but strong winds and heavy rains persisted in the western part of the island, where the hurricane left several desperate communities, AFP reporters noted.

On the San Juan y Martínez highway, 190 km from Havana, the province of Pinar del Río, where most of the country’s tobacco plantations are located, was severely affected. Crops were flooded, trees were uprooted, and power lines were strewn across the ground.

The national electricity operator, Unión Eléctrica, also declared a general blackout throughout the island.

The US state of Florida is a short distance in the path of the hurricane. The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned in its 9:00 p.m. (GMT) bulletin that the Category 3 hurricane would approach Florida’s west coast as an “intense and extremely dangerous hurricane.”

State of emergency in Florida

In Miami’s public gardens, visited by our correspondent David Thomson, the city has left mounds of sand on hand, and residents flock to fill bags to protect themselves from the floods that may accompany Ian.

Shirtless and carrying his shovel, Aron, in his 30s, frantically fills his bags. The big hurricane hasn’t arrived yet, but it’s been raining nonstop for two days and the water is already rising in front of his house on the beach. “My driveway is starting to flood, so I’m trying to keep the water out of my garage,” he explains to RFI.

Along with him, Freddie also comes to fill sandbags, but for his grandmother. He is getting worried because the hurricane’s path is uncertain. “When I offered to help her yesterday, she said no. And today she has changed her mind! The hurricane is moving a little bit to the east, so it’s going to be worse than expected here,” she says.

Freddie is old enough to remember Hurricane Andrew, which devastated Miami in 1992, so he takes the threat seriously. “Hurricane Andrew just destroyed South Miami. It was a Category 5 hurricane. There’s going to be a lot of water, a lot of flooding, I just hope the roofs don’t blow off,” he says worriedly.

A state of emergency was declared throughout Florida and authorities stepped up preparations. And the Florida governor’s advice is simple: don’t panic, but prepare as much as possible.

“In some areas, there will be catastrophic flooding and deadly storm surges,” Governor Ron DeSantis warned, urging residents to stock up on supplies and prepare for power outages as he mobilized 7,000 National Guard troops.

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, has approved emergency federal aid for 24 of the state’s 67 counties. “Florida is preparing for the arrival of the hurricane. Forecasts may change, but right now experts say it will be a very strong, life-threatening and devastating hurricane… citizens of potentially affected areas should obey the instructions of local officials. Evacuate when ordered,” the US president said.

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Written by Editor TLN


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