Hurricane Ian on land in Florida, fear of ‘catastrophic’ floods

Hurricane Ian made landfall near the west coast of the U.S. state of Florida. According to Reuters news agency, this is associated with storm surge, floods and wind speeds of up to 240 kilometers per hour.

Footage shows that streets are flooded and the hurricane is causing a lot of damage. According to local authorities, more than 1.1 million households and businesses are without power.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center NHC previously warned that Ian could lead to โ€œcatastrophic floodsโ€ by boosting coastal seawater and flowing into the country.

Hurricane Ian is easy to see both on land and from space:

In the past few hours, Ian increased to strength, to Category 4, the second toughest category with wind speeds between 210 and 250 kilometers per hour. Those high speeds make the hurricane โ€œextremely dangerous,โ€ says the NHC.

The hurricane is just not ticking category 5. In the past thirty years, only two other hurricanes in that highest and most dangerous category have made landfall in the U.S., both times in Florida.

Eastward than expected

Ian‘s course, however, has turned out more east than previously expected. As a result, the hurricane did not overland the densely populated region of the metropolis of Tampa, but further south in the Sarasota region.

On Florida’s west coast, 2.5 million people have been evacuated because of Ian. Flights across the U.S. have been canceled due to the hurricane.

Damage in Cuba

On the way to Florida, a migrant boat sank due to the hurricane. On board were 23 Cuban passengers, 20 of them are still missing, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Three drowning people were rescued: they were exhausted and showed signs of dehydration. The search for the remaining migrants continues.

The hurricane has already caused a lot of damage in Cuba, particularly in the westernmost province of Pinar del Rรญo. Furthermore, there is major damage to the electricity grid in Cuba, which means that power can no longer be supplied. So far, two deaths have been reported. There is still no complete picture of the damage on the island.