Where is Hurricane Ian now headed and how to prepare for it? | Weather News

Ian intensifies into a Category 4 storm as it heads toward the US state of Florida after plunging Cuba into darkness.

Hurricane Ian is heading towards Florida after invading western Cuba as a catastrophic Category 4 storm.

Here’s what we know so far about the tropical storm:

What happened and when?

  • Ian ended up in the Pinar del Rio province of Cuba on Tuesday at 08:30 GMTand plunged the island into darkness after battering the west of the country for more than five hours before moving back across the Gulf of Mexico, the Insmet Meteorological Institute said.
  • “The system was already operating under complex conditions after Hurricane Ian passed through,” said Lazaro Guerra, technical director of the Cuban Electricity Union. “Right now there is no electricity in any part of the country.”
  • At the time of impact, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported Ian’s maximum wind speeds of 205 kilometers (125 miles) per hour.
  • The storm has claimed at least two lives in western Cuba, state media reported. Local authorities said about 40,000 people were evacuated across Pinar del Rio province.
  • As it moved away from Cuba late Tuesday night, tropical storm strength spread across the Florida Keys island chain to the southernmost shores of the state’s Gulf Coast.

Where are you going next?

  • The hurricane is expected to hit the state of Florida on Wednesday, according to US authorities, with forecasters warning of life-threatening storm surges and “devastating” winds.
  • Ian has evolved into an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said, adding that it is expected to weaken after making landfall.
  • Citing the NHC, Kevin Guthrie, the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said Ian will likely end up in Venice, Florida.
  • A Category 4 storm on the five-point Saffir-Simpson scale carries winds of up to 209 km (130 miles) per hour and can reach 251 km (156 miles) per hour.
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What is expected?

  • NHC warned that Ian would unleash raging surf, life-threatening coastal flooding and more than 12 inches of rain in some areas.
  • Authorities asked more than 2.5 million residents to evacuate their homes to higher ground.
  • Florida’s coastal zone with the highest risk of a US landing is home to miles of sandy beaches, dozens of resort hotels, and numerous RV parks that are popular with retirees and vacationers alike.
  • Storm surge is expected along Florida’s west coast and lower Florida Keys, with highest risk from Naples to the Sarasota region.
  • Strong winds are expected in the southwest and west-central Florida hurricane warning area beginning Wednesday morning. Heavy rains will spread across the state through Thursday and reach parts of the Southeast later this week and weekend.
  • Gov. DeSantis said more than 2.5 million people in Florida were placed under some form of evacuation order, with at least 1.75 million placed under mandatory evacuation orders.
  • The Florida Division of Emergency Management on Twitter said parts of south and central Florida are experiencing tornado watches and warnings.
  • Regardless, authorities in Cuba are working to restore power.
  • The damage is great, although it has not yet been possible to explain it,” Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel said on Twitter after his visit to Pinar del Rio. “Aid flows are already coming from across the country.”

How can the people of Florida prepare for this?

  • The Red Cross has encouraged people to listen to the advice of local authorities and to evacuate immediately if told to do so.
  • “Residents quickly run out of time to leave. If you don’t want to evacuate, have enough food and water with you for at least three days – it will be difficult for rescue workers to get you help if weather conditions worsen,” the Red Cross said in a statement Tuesday.
  • The NWS recommends writing or reviewing a family contingency plan before the storm or hurricane hits, and “this consists of sitting down with family and close friends and deciding how to connect with each other, where to go.” and how they get in contact.”
  • The agency also recommends having a basic emergency supply kit on hand and encourages people to make sure emergency equipment is working properly.
  • Basic emergency items include non-perishable food and water (gallons [4.5 litres] per person, per day), dust mask, extra batteries, battery operated or hand crank radio, flashlights, maps, first aid kits, local maps and storm blinds.
  • They also recommend medications such as pain relievers, convenience foods, pet food, cash, or travelers checks.
  • They also highlight storing important documents electronically or in a waterproof container.
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A hurricane evacuation route sign is displayed as Hurricane Ian turns toward the state in Punta Gorda, Florida, the United States, September 27, 2022 with high winds, torrential rain and a strong storm surge.  REUTERS/Marco Bello
A hurricane evacuation route sign is displayed as Hurricane Ian sweeps toward the state in Punta Gorda, Florida with high winds, torrential rain and a powerful storm surge [Marco Bello/Reuters]
  • To get a home ready, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends “clearing the yard and making sure nothing can explode during the storm.”
  • The CDC also advises people to guard windows and doors, especially windows, to protect people from broken glass.
  • Authorities are also advising people to stay away from windows or glass doors.
  • The CDC also advises people to be prepared to turn off the power, prime the water supply, and check the carbon dioxide detector battery to avoid CO2 poisoning.
  • Authorities are also recommending homeowners avoid staying in enclosed attics, as rising flood waters can trap them.

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