Many provinces in Cuba and the US state of Florida declared a state of emergency as Hurricane Ian approached, forecasting winds of up to 225 km / h.
The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned that Hurricane Ian is strengthening and may make landfall in western Cuba late on September 26 and in the morning of September 27 (afternoon 27 September Hanoi time).
“Maximum sustained winds of nearly 155 km/h with gusts of wind,” the NHC predicted, said the winds made Ian a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale of five.
NHC said the storm is expected to strengthen rapidly on Monday or the following days, becoming a Category 4 storm with maximum winds of 225 km/h as it enters the Gulf of Mexico and makes landfall in Florida, USA.
About 50,000 people in the western province of Pinar del Rio have been evacuated to safety, of which 6,000 have been moved to state-supplied shelters, the rest to relatives and friends.
The west coast of Cuba is expected to experience waves as high as 4.3 meters when the storm makes landfall. Fishermen in the capital Havana have brought boats ashore to avoid storms, while urban sanitation workers deal with bottlenecks in the drainage system, ready to respond to heavy rains.
In Florida, USA, Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in 67 counties while officials prepared for the storm to hit on September 28 or 29.
Hurricane Ian will “cause heavy rain, strong winds, flash floods, high tides, and tornadoes along the Gulf of Florida,” Governor DeSantis said at a news conference in Tallahassee on September 26, urging residents to prepare for a possible disaster. power-off.
“Even if the storm doesn’t make landfall in your area, there’s still high winds that knock down trees and disrupt power supplies,” he said, warning of the possibility of flooding.
The governor urged residents to stock up on food, water, medicine and fuel. He deployed 7,000 National Guardsmen to help people prepare for Hurricane Ian.
Officials in several Florida cities such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa began distributing free sandbags to residents to prevent floods. US President Joe Biden has approved emergency grants for 24 Florida counties through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The Caribbean and parts of eastern Canada are working to repair damage caused by Hurricane Fiona last week. The storm hit eastern Canada, causing strong winds of 128 km/h, torrential rain and waves up to 12 meters high. Three people were killed when Hurricane Fiona hit the eastern provinces of Canada.
Hong Hanh (Theo AFP)