July 25, 2021

Hurricane Elsa is approaching the coast of Florida

Hurricane season is open in the United States. After hitting the Caribbean, Storm Elsa, once again a hurricane, was heading for the Florida coast on Tuesday. At 8 p.m. local Tuesday (2 hours in Paris, Wednesday), Elsa was 165 km southwest of Tampa.

Elsa, who is moving north at 22 km / h, “Is expected to make landfall along the north Florida coast on Wednesday morning before advancing into the southeastern United States on Thursday”, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said earlier. With winds blowing up to 120 km / h, the NHC decided on Tuesday evening to change its status to a category one (out of five) hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

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In the northwestern part of the peninsula, the water could rise up to 1.5 meters due to the winds. Tampa Airport has suspended commercial flights from 5 p.m. local and until 10 a.m. at least Wednesday morning.

The collapsed building completely destroyed

“We call on the people of Florida to start their preparations, and this includes the possibility of being without electricity for a few days, and of having enough food and water for each member of their family”, urged Jeanette Nuñez, Florida’s deputy governor, on Tuesday. “If there are evacuation orders in your (residential) area, it is for your own safety, the counties will open emergency accommodation centers”, she assured.

The passage of the tropical storm comes less than two weeks after the partial collapse of a building in Surfside, a small town north of Miami, in the middle of the night on June 24. The disaster left at least 36 dead, of which 29 have been identified, and 109 missing, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Tuesday afternoon.

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The remaining part of the building, dubbed Champlain Towers South, was destroyed on Sunday evening in a controlled explosion, as authorities feared the building would threaten the safety of rescuers. These fears were compounded by the onset of the storm.

Three dead in the Caribbean

After killing three people in the Dominican Republic and St. Lucia, Elsa hit Cuba on Monday, leaving heavy rains in her wake but not causing major damage to the island, as in Haiti, a country particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. .

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Once she hits the west coast of Florida, Elsa is expected to lose some of her power as she travels inland back up to Georgia and the states of South and North Carolina.

The World with AFP