Seawater flooding has been reported on the west coast of Florida. A million people are without electricity. Correspondent Erik Mouthaan: “America is holding its breath. It’s a huge hurricane. Although the storm is weakening now that it’s above land, it can dump up to half a meter of rain on flat, low ground the next day.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is urging Florida residents to stay home as water levels could unexpectedly rise rapidly and even cause tornadoes. Ian is expected to head back to Florida’s east coast later today.
Orlando tourists are also advised to stay in their hotel rooms, says the Dutchman Fouad at RTL News. US President Biden has declared a state of emergency to speed up relief efforts.
Earlier this week, Ian had two deaths in Cuba. Electricity was cut across the island.
Early fall is traditionally the season when many hurricanes occur in the United States, says Erik Mouthaan. “The hurricane season has been quite pleasant so far. You can see that by Ian’s name. Each year the hurricanes are named, in alphabetical order. Normally by this time they have already arrived at the M or the P. Now only to Ian”. But that could turn out to be a big problem, the correspondent says.
There are videos on Twitter in which Ian’s strength is clearly visible:
Florida is a densely populated state, although the Fort Myers area is less densely built than Tampa, where the storm was originally expected. American television channels broadcast images of flooded streets and boats lifted from their anchors.
Previously, 2 million people had been ordered to leave their homes, although it is unclear how many of them actually did so.
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