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Hurricane hits Florida, 20 lakh without electricity

News Desk || risingbd.com

Published: 10:47, 29 September 2022  
Hurricane hits Florida, 20 lakh without electricity

Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the United States, has swept into southwest Florida.

The extremely dangerous Category 4 storm made landfall shortly after 3pm local time (19:00 GMT) on Wednesday near Cayo Costa, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said, bringing sustained winds of about 240 kilometres per hour (150 miles per hour).

It caused flood, knocking out power to about 20 lakh people and threatening catastrophic damage further inland.

The storm’s wind speeds put it just shy of a Category 5 designation on the Saffir-Simpson scale, the most severe classification for storms, although the NHC said Ian was expected to weaken slightly after coming ashore.

Cayo Costa is a protected barrier island just west of Fort Myers, and officials warned of the dangers to the heavily-populated Gulf Coast — with the Naples to Sarasota region at “highest risk” of a devastating storm surge from the strong winds and torrential rain.

Mark Pritchett stepped outside his home in Venice at about the time the hurricane came ashore from the Gulf of Mexico, about 56km (35 miles) to the south. He called it “terrifying.”

Mandatory evacuation orders had been issued in a dozen coastal Florida counties, with voluntary evacuations recommended in several others, according to the state’s emergency officials.