Hurricane Irma: Time runs out for Florida evacuation

BBC News | 9/9/2017 | Staff
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Florida's state governor has told residents who were ordered to leave their homes to go to shelters and avoid the roads as Hurricane Irma approaches.

Rick Scott said it was now too late to drive away from the danger areas.

Caribbean - Islands - Irma - Cuba - Winds

After devastating several Caribbean islands, Irma is lashing Cuba with strong winds and heavy rain, and is due to reach Florida on Sunday.

Some 6.3 million people, more than 25% of the US state's population, have been ordered to evacuate.

Hurricane - Landfall - Sabana-Camaguey - Archipelago - Cuba

The hurricane made landfall on the Sabana-Camaguey Archipelago, in Cuba's north-east, late on Friday as a category five storm but has now weakened to a category three.

After moving slowly along the northern Cuban coast it is now heading out to sea towards Florida.

Irma - Cuba - Hurricane - Florida - National

Irma is expected to strengthen once it moves away from Cuba, and will remain a powerful hurricane as it approaches Florida, the National Hurricane Center says in its latest advisory at 00:00 GMT.

It says Irma has maximum sustained winds of 120mph (193km/h).

Category - Hurricane - Cuba - Years - Florida

It was the first category five hurricane to hit Cuba in more than 80 years, and it is expected to strengthen again before reaching Florida.

At least 24 people are so far known to have died as Hurricane Irma progressed across the Caribbean throughout the week.


What is happening in Florida?

Irma is expected to hit the coast at around lunchtime on Sunday, but the outer bands are already affecting the south of the state and central Miami is being lashed by heavy rain.

Florida - Keys - Chain - Islands - Damage

The Florida Keys - a chain of small islands to the south - have suffered some minor damage and are expected to bear the brunt of the storm on Sunday morning.

The head of emergencies agency Fema, Brock Long, told CNN there were "no safe areas within the Keys".

Life - Hands

"You put your life in your own hands by not evacuating," he added.

Staying behind...
(Excerpt) Read more at: BBC News
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