The US state of Florida is bracing for Hurricane Ian, which is expected to make landfall Wednesday evening local time. It would be a ‘category 4’ hurricane, with a wind speed of 209 km/h. Two and a half million residents have been ordered or warned to evacuate. The storm previously left Cuba completely in the dark after the power grid went out.

    According to the American Hurricane Center, the natural violence grew into a tropical cyclone of category 3 (out of 5). US Secretary of Health Xavier Becerra declared a public health emergency for Florida on Monday. The city of Tampa – on the Gulf of Mexico – could face its worst storm in more than a hundred years.

    Ian made landfall on Cuba’s west coast as a Category 3 hurricane on Tuesday, causing extensive damage to the island. Power has been cut across the country, according to Lázaro Guerra, the technical director of the state-owned company responsible for Cuba’s electricity grid.

    The Cuban capital Havana is completely shrouded in darkness. © AFP

    The storm also caused a lot of material damage in Cuba.

    The storm also caused a lot of material damage in Cuba. © ANP / EPA

    Category 4

    The storm is expected to have transitioned to a Category 4 hurricane upon arrival in Florida, with winds of up to 209 km/h. There are fears of flooding in coastal areas. Authorities have urged 2.5 million people to evacuate to higher areas.

    Governor Ron DeSantis warned Tuesday evening that evacuation will be difficult for those who wait too long. Because the wind had already started to blow, authorities planned to close highway bridges. People should take into account power failures that can last for days, it sounds. There are fears of storm damage amounting to 60 billion dollars (63 billion euros).

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