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Hurricane Ian hit the west coast of Florida

Hurricane Ian made landfall on the west coast of the US state of Florida. The US Hurricane Center announced today that the center of four out of five hurricanes hit the coast near the city of Cape Coral.

It is an “extremely dangerous hurricane” that is likely to bring storms up to meters high, flooding and torrential rain.

Speeds up to 220 km/h

The authorities warned that wind speeds of up to 220 km/h could cause severe damage to infrastructure and communication lines and widespread and continuous power outages.

REUTERS/Steve Nisios

Evacuation instructions have been applied to 2.5 million people in the region. The first photos and videos on social networks have already shown severe flooding in the cities of Fort Myers Beach, Cape Coral and Naples, some of which were several meters high. According to the Poweroutage website, nearly 800,000 homes in Florida have lost power.

The Ministry of Defense activates the National Guard

The Pentagon said more than 3,200 Florida National Guard personnel have been activated, with another 1,800 standing by when needed. A State Department spokesperson in Washington said Florida has deployed soldiers and equipment to bases across the state to prepare them for deployment to storm-hit areas. For example, the National Guard can clear the streets and assist in search and rescue operations.

Biden’s warning

US President Joe Biden emphasized that the government is ready to provide all possible assistance to the authorities in Florida and the affected communities – before and during the storm and for the reconstruction needed afterward.

He warned that the hurricane is life-threatening. Biden urged those living near the affected areas to follow the instructions of local authorities.

A boat sank off the shore, 23 missing

Meanwhile, rescue workers are searching for 23 migrants missing after a boat sank off the coast of Florida. The US Border Patrol said the rescue operation began when four Cubans swimming on Stoke Island in the Florida Keys arrived. A border guard reported on Twitter that their boat sank due to bad weather.

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