US President Donald Trump on Monday declared Florida a “disaster zone” to provide emergency aid to the country hit by Hurricane Irma.
Hurricane Irma took aim at heavily populated areas of central Florida, engraving a trail of destruction with high winds and storm surges that left at least 3.3 million without electricity, ripped roofs off homes and many areas in Miami have been flooded. One of the two power reactors has been disabled.
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) September 10, 2017
Local authorities reported that it may take weeks to restore regular electricity to all affected households.
Irma, once ranked as one of the most powerful hurricanes recorded in the Atlantic, came ashore in Florida on Sunday and battered towns as it worked its way up the state. At least 170,000 people in Florida are staying in bomb shelters.
— Gideon J. Apé (@GideonApe) September 10, 2017
A curfew was imposed on the residents of Miami, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale, and the police also reported several arrests of residents who broke the curfew and walked outside.
The significance of President Trump’s announcement is that federal aid will be given to businesses and homeowners affected by the disaster, a subsidized loan grant, and assistance to Florida in covering the costs of evacuating the residents and removing the rubble. The storm left much destruction in Florida after it devastated the Caribbean and claimed at least 28 lives. The Foreign Ministry said that six Israelis who had been on the Caribbean island of San Martin were rescued safely in an American plane and landed in Puerto Rico.
Brian Conn, director of emergency services in Florida, said that at this stage the authorities have very little information about the damage caused by the storm, and he tries to remain optimistic. “I have not heard of catastrophic damage, but that does not mean it does not exist, it may mean that it has not yet reached us,” he said among other things. The Florida Keys reported citizens who saw appliances and furniture being washed away in the streets.
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) September 10, 2017
Although the storm has meanwhile weakened to level 1 above the Florida sky, but still brings with it powerful winds of 160 km/h, with Irma now approaching Tampa and St. Petersburg on the western coast of Florida, warning that the Tampa floods could be huge, Miami is also struggling today with huge flooding, and in many parts the water has reached more than four meters height reached more than four meters height.
Irma’s route is supposed to continue northward and arrive – much weaker – to Georgia and South Carolina, where they have declared a state of emergency in advance of the arrival of the rains and winds. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the storm would be reduced to a tropical storm the next day, before arriving in Georgia.
— CNN (@CNN) September 11, 2017
Meanwhile, Miami is coping with the impact of the storm that has struck it intensely for the past 24 hours. Many areas in the city have been flooded and 1.8 million homes and businesses are without electricity; In Florida, more than 3.3 million people are in the dark. The mighty winds managed to knock down three huge cranes in the city, but no one was hurt in the reports.
In the United States, three people have been reported dead in the storm, including a man who crashed into a tree. But there are also happy moments. A woman gave birth at her home in Miami while the winds that accompanied the hurricane struck the city.
The Miami municipality said rescuers did not have time to take the woman to hospital – so doctors were called in and delivered to her home. She brought a daughter into the world.