Hurricane Ian makes landfall in Florida and is already causing 'catastrophic' flooding
An image of Hurricane Ian making landfall in Florida on September 28, 2022. AP
Text by: RFI Follow
Hurricane Ian, considered "
", made landfall on Wednesday afternoon in Florida, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), after having already caused "
At sea, poor conditions capsized a boat carrying migrants, and the coastguard is still looking for 20 missing people, three having been rescued and four others having managed to swim to shore.
Carrying sustained winds of up to 150 mph (240 km/h), Ian made landfall along the coast of Cayo Costa in southwest Florida at 3:05 p.m. local (1905 GMT), according to the NHC.
The hurricane on Wednesday caused "
catastrophic sea flooding, winds, and flooding in the Florida peninsula
", according to the center's previous bulletin.
Ian has already devastated western Cuba in recent days, and is then expected to move inland during the day, and emerge over the western Atlantic by Thursday evening, according to the NHC.
The streets of Punta Gorda in the south of the state, where a few passersby were still walking at noon, had suddenly emptied Wednesday afternoon, as the sky turned grayish and the showers intensified.
Strong winds tore off the branches of many palm trees in the center, even making the electric poles wobble, the cyclone still being about forty kilometers from the city.
Submersion phenomena of up to 5 meters
In Naples, southwest Florida, images from MSNBC showed completely flooded streets and cars floating in the current.
The phenomena of marine submersion could reach more than five meters on the coasts, according to the NHC, while between 30 and 45 cm of precipitation are expected in central and northeast Florida, and up to 60 cm by locations.
This is a storm that will be talked about for many years to
come," NWS Director Ken Graham said at a press conference.
In the morning, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis warned that Ian could make landfall as a Category 5 hurricane, the highest category on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
Clearly, this is a very powerful hurricane that will have far-reaching consequences
," he said.
More than a million homes in Florida are already without electricity, according
to the specialized site PowerOutage
, which lists power cuts.
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