About 20 lakh people without electricity, thousands of people trapped in their homes due to water
Ian did not disappoint. It spared the city of Tampa, but entered from the west coast of Florida between Fort Myers and Sarasota, with gusty winds of 250 kph, becoming one of the most powerful hurricanes in United States history, touching nearly Category 5 when making landfall in Cayo Costa. The wind blows like a freight train in the dark of night with those who have seen the water rising around them by the light of lanterns.
Only four hurricanes have been more powerful than this one, but although it is wind speed that is measured for its classification, Ian had other, more dangerous features. Its mass exceeded 800 km in size, with an eye of 48 km into which any of its predecessor could have fit. The worst, however, was the gross slowness with which he carried on. The slower, the more rain fell on the areas which he brutally punished for hours and hours.
It made landfall near Punta Gorda, flooded the streets of Fort Myers until it left business underwater and was expected to cross the Florida peninsula diagonally overnight, from coast to coast, along the range today. Weakened from Orlando or Daytona Beach. 2, it was expected. This would not prevent it from causing flooding in its wake and from taking force again when it enters the ocean, en route to the Carolinas and Virginia, where the Joe Biden administration had already mobilized a state of emergency earlier. Just declared. resources quickly.
Behind him, he left nearly two million people in the dark last night, just as he did in Cuba two days earlier, when the entire island lost power. Last night in Florida it was only 10% of the population, but officials fear what they will find today when the sun rises and the water recedes. Everything suggests that the islands off the coast of Fort Myers, where it first made US landfall, have been devastated by the impact.
Cayo Costa takes the title of being its landing strip, but the majority of the population in that swath of islands obeyed evacuation orders, knowing that in best cases they would be isolated. There are no communications today. “Procrastination is not conducive to survival,” warned John Copenhauer, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Most of the desperate calls from people trapped in the floods came from the interior of the peninsula, where the waters rose at such a speed that many did not have time to leave their homes. Nor was it fair. The gusty winds had broken power lines. Officials warned that throwing the boat into the water to save neighbors could leave Samaritans with electric shocks, not to mention what the monster could do to the snorers the size of a tornado it passed. .
Half a century ago Ian would have explored the sparsely populated areas, but in recent decades the population between Fort Myers and Cape Coral has increased by more than 600%, according to the census. The pandemic has brought an unprecedented flow that lacks the experience of such devastating weather events. His baptism with the historic record-breaking hurricane is also a reminder of the dangerous consequences of climate change, as devastating as this messenger.
Two killed in Cuba
Officials say Hurricane Ian has killed two in Cuba and no one in Florida yet, “but in between, 23 rafters have disappeared.” The U.S. Border Patrol and the Monroe County Sheriff learned this from four survivors who managed to swim across the small island of Stock along Highway 1 through the Florida Keys. As Agent Walter Schlosser reported on Twitter, “The Coast Guard has launched an operation to search for other potential survivors of the boat, which according to Castaway would sink if it capsized in the middle of the storm.”