Cuba, Florida Brace For Hurricane Ian


Cuba, Florida brace for Hurricane Ian

Havana, Sept 27 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 27th Sep, 2022 ) :Cuba on Monday declared an emergency alert in its six most western provinces as fast-approaching Hurricane Ian strengthened rapidly, with Florida also ramping up preparations ahead of a possible hit.

Authorities in Havana said they were ready to evacuate those from the most affected areas while also organizing fresh drinking water supplies and medical services.

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned Ian was intensifying and could pass over western Cuba late Monday and early Tuesday.

"Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 miles (135 kilometers) per hour with higher gusts," it said.

"Rapid strengthening is expected during the next day or so, and Ian is forecast to become a major hurricane." Cuba's Insmet meteorology institute said Ian was advancing at a speed of 22 kilometers per hour.

The six provinces put on alert are Pinar del Rio, Artemisa, La Habana, Mayabeque, Cienfuegos and Isla de la Juventud.

In Florida, the city of Tampa was under a hurricane watch, and Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in all 67 counties as officials scrambled to prepare for the storm's forecast landing on late Wednesday or Thursday.

Ian "will bring heavy rains, strong winds, flash flooding, storm surge, along with isolated tornado activity along Florida's Gulf Coast," DeSantis said at a press conference in Tallahassee on Monday.

He warned people to prepare for power cuts.

"Even if the eye of the storm doesn't hit your region, you're going to have really significant winds, it's going to knock over trees, it's going to cause interruptions," DeSantis said, warning of likely flooding.

The governor urged residents to stock up on food, water, medicine and fuel, and he activated 7,000 National Guard members to help with the effort.

Authorities in several Florida municipalities, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, started distributing free sandbags to residents to help protect their homes from the risk of flooding.

President Joe Biden approved emergency aid to 24 counties in Florida through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

NASA said it was rolling back its massive Moon rocket into its storage hangar at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida due to the hurricane.