Hurricane Ida, which arrives on Sunday in the U.S. state of Louisiana, is increasing. Authorities report that Ida is becoming an “extremely dangerous” category 4 hurricane, which can cause “life-threatening floods” and “catastrophic wind damage”. According to predictions, the hurricane can bring gusts of 225 kilometers per hour.
Ida arrived on Friday (local time) on the Cuban island of Isla de la Juventud, where predictors say that rain could fall as much as 50 centimetres. Ida, now another category 1 storm, could already lead to deadly floods and mud flows in Cuba. Wind speeds of 120 kilometers per hour are also measured.
In Louisiana, where the hurricane arrives on Sunday exactly sixteen years after Katrina, tens of thousands of residents have been called to evacuate. “Hurricane Ida is rapidly increasing strength and the situation seems to change with the hour,” said state governor John Bel Edwards, who declared the state of emergency. “This is the time to complete your preparations.”
“This will be a life-changing storm for those who havent prepared,” Meteorologist Benjamin Schott of the National Weather Service told US media. Ida is likely to land south of New Orleans city.
Local hospitals send patients home and get ready to go in lockdown. Local experts believe the hurricane could cause more than 20 billion euros of damage if it follows the predicted route. Hurricane Katrina, a category 3 hurricane, caused $120 billion in damage sixteen years ago.