Millions flee Florida as Hurricane Irma approaches

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After Hurricane Harvey, comes Hurricane Irma which is considered more destructive as it has ravage the Caribbean Islands and is heading towards Florida. Florida is considered to be amongst the  most populous state in the United States.

Irma was set to hit the US two weeks after Hurricane Harvey, a powerful Category Four storm, struck Texas, killing about 60 people and causing property damage estimated at up to $180bn in Texas and Louisiana.

Following threats by Irma, Millions of Florida residents have been ordered to evacuate.

Irma made landfall as a Category Five storm in Camaguey Archipelago on Cuba’s north-central Atlantic coast packing 260 kilometres per hour winds late on Friday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Irma, one of the fiercest Atlantic storms in a century, was expected to hit Florida on Sunday morning, bringing massive damage from wind and flooding to the fourth-largest US state by population.

The scenes along Cuba’s coast were gradually coming to resemble horrors of other Caribbean islands over the last week as Irma barreled in for a direct hit at Ciego de Avila province around midnight.

 

The United States has been hit by only three Category Five storms since 1851, and Irma is far larger than the last one in 1992, Hurricane Andrew, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“We are running out of time. If you are in an evacuation zone, you need to go now. This is a catastrophic storm like our state has never seen,” Governor Rick Scott told reporters, adding the effects would be felt from coast to coast in the state.

A total of 5.6 million people, or 25 percent of the state’s population, were ordered to evacuate Florida, said the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

US President Donald Trump said in a videotaped statement that Irma was “a storm of absolutely historic destructive potential” and called on people to heed recommendations from government officials and law enforcement.

 

Officials were preparing a massive response, the head of FEMA said.

About nine million people in Florida may lose power, some for weeks, said Florida Power & Light Co, which serves almost half of the state’s 20.6 million residents.

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