Hurricane Zeta, which reached the coast of the southern American state of Louisiana on Wednesday night (local time), has reported the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The hurricane landed not far from the city of New Orleans. Although Zeta did not surpass Hurricane Katrina, which largely destroyed the city in 2005, Zeta became the strongest ever since. Authorities have confirmed one dead man.
At least 330,000 households in Louisiana ran out of power as a result of Hurricane Zeta, local media report. Including the states of Alabama and Mississippi, as many as 900,000 people are without electricity. The hurricane also caused heavy floods. A video shows how a boat stands in the middle of a flooded highway.
In New Orleans, a man was electrocuted when he came into contact with a power line coming down, the local authorities report in a message on Twitter. “There are currently many dangers outside. Please stay inside,” says a warning to the people of New Orleans.
Governor of Louisiana John Bel Edwards had summoned the inhabitants of his state to shelter from the hurricane, and promised rescue aid and support with repair work immediately after the storm. In New Orleans, public transport was shut down and residents of the outer dikes were advised to look for higher areas. Municipalities in low-lying areas and on the coast issued evacuation orders.
Oil and gas producers evacuated the employees of 231 drilling rigs and shut down oil wells. This halted two-thirds of offshore oil production and 45% of the states gas production.
Zeta, with wind speeds of up to 175 kilometers per hour, is the fifth hurricane or storm that hit Louisiana this year. The United States were particularly badly hit, with hurricanes Isaias, Laura, Hanna, Sally and Delta all hit the coastline and caused billions of dollars in damage.