From boarded up windows to shuttered gas pumps: Florida braces for ‘extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Idalia. President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in large parts of the state on Monday.
Idalia will likely make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane (on a scale of 5). Wind speeds are expected to reach at least 210 kilometers per hour.
In addition, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis noted that storm surge could cause “life-threatening flooding.” As for coastal areas, waves with a height of 4.5 meters must be taken into account.
US President Biden already declared a state of emergency on Monday. Emergency services therefore laid off personnel and resources so that Florida could optimally prepare for the hurricane.
Evacuation orders are already in place in twenty provinces, which have their own administration. Tampa International Airport suspended air traffic on Tuesday.
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The Idalia was already causing a nuisance in Cuba
Idalia has already caused a lot of inconvenience in Cuba. Streets were flooded and strong winds also caused severe damage. At that time it was not yet a hurricane, but a tropical storm. Idalia is getting stronger as it pushes toward Florida.
Coastal cities in Cuba were particularly affected. Residents were evacuated, homes were reinforced, and fishing boats were moored. The fishing village of Guan, located an hour’s drive south of Havana, was completely submerged.
The last hurricane to hit Florida was Ian, in September 2022. Then 150 people died due to the natural disaster. The damage amounted to more than 90 billion euros.
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