Miami (EFE) .- The eye of Hurricane Ian made landfall this Wednesday near Cayo Costa, in southwest Florida, with winds of 150 miles per hour (240 km/h), reported the US National Hurricane Center (NHC)
Ian, whose winds correspond to category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, although approaching 5, which is the maximum, it has been described as an “incredibly dangerous” cyclone by the NHC, but so far no information has been made on the damage or casualties.
In addition to its hurricane-force winds, Ian produced storm surges before reaching the Gulf of Mexico coastal area and will continue to produce storm surges, which are raising sea levels and flooding normally dry coastal areas.
At some points in the impact zone, sea levels can rise as much as 16 feet (4.8 meters), according to the NHC.
It also unloads heavy rain across most of the state and tornadoes around Miami, where two people required hospitalization.
Tourist towns such as Fort Myers, Captiva Island and Sanibel are in the area where the hurricane struck.
Forecast for Ian
On the forecast track, Ian’s center is expected to move inland from Florida tonight and Thursday morning and emerge over the western Atlantic Thursday afternoon.
Ian will turn north on Friday and approach the northeast coast of Florida, in addition to the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina on Friday afternoon.
Although easing winds are expected after landfall, Ian could be near hurricane strength as it moves across the east coast of Florida tomorrow and approaches northeast Florida, from Georgia and South Carolina on Friday.
The previous major hurricane to hit Florida was Michael in 2018. Michael made landfall in Mexico Beach (northwest of the state) on October 10, 2018 with winds of 160 miles per hour (over 250 km/h) and caused the sea level to rise up to 4.2 meters.
Although the impact zone is obviously the worst part, pretty much all of Florida is more or less affected by Ian.
activated the emergency
Of Florida’s 67 counties, all declared a state of emergency since Monday, 18 issued mandatory evacuation orders before Ian’s arrival, according to the Federal Department of Emergency Management (FEMA).
Shelters were full and closed in the impact zone when Ian arrived and thousands of people chose to leave coastal areas and move inland to protect their lives.
Hours before Ian’s arrival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who warned it was no longer possible “to evacuate safely”, asked for prayers for those who decided not to leave their homes in mandatory evacuation zones.