Hurricane Irma made landfall on Florida’s southern islands Sunday and claimed three lives as millions of people, including thousands of Indian-Americans, evacuated the state in the wake of the storm that left a trail of death and destruction across the Caribbean. Hurtling along at 130 mph winds, Irma struck Florida Keys as it barrelled towards the US state’s west coast where millions of people have evacuated turning many places into ghost towns. As the Category four storm bore down on Florida this morning, at least three deaths were reported in the state. More than 6.3 million people were told to evacuate Florida, with warnings of a huge storm surge that would be life-threatening to anyone in its path. Irma has already devastated parts of the Caribbean with 25 deaths. About 60 Indian nationals are being evacuated from the vacation island of St Martin in the Caribbean.
Here are some of the videos showing the extent of devastation caused by the Hurricane Irma:-
“There is imminent danger of life-threatening storm surge flooding along much of the Florida west coast, including the Florida Keys, where a storm surge warning is in effect,” the hurricane center said. “The threat of catastrophic storm surge flooding is highest along the southwest coast of Florida, where 10 to 15 feet of inundation above ground level is expected. This is a life-threatening situation,” it added.
The National Weather Service (NWS) said Irma regained strength as a Category 4 storm – after being downgraded to Category 3 for more than 12 hours – as it moved to Florida.
US President Donald Trump reviewed preparedness with his cabinet colleagues at Camp David in Maryland. He asked federal and state agencies expedite assistance to affected areas. “This is a storm of enormous destructive power, and I ask everyone in the storm’s path to pay heed to all instructions from government officials,” Trump said.
Florida Governor Rick Scott asked people to move out of the danger zones as soon as possible. “The state has never seen anything like this. The storm’s surge can kill you.” The US Army has so far deployed more than 7,400 soldiers and US Army Corps of Engineers civilians on the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the continental US.
The Pentagon said the Army has over 140 aircraft, 650 trucks, 150 boats prepared along with additional resources on standby.
AccuWeather, a forecast weather agency, warned Irma will unleash destructive winds, flooding, rain and surging seas.