Irma Moves Towards Southwest Florida Coast with Reinforced Winds

The hurricane category 4 Irma is approaching the southwest coast of Florida with maximum winds of 130 miles (215 km / h), having hit the ground in the state’s Keys, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported. UU.

According to the NHC’s forecast in her bulletin of 15.00 GMT today (11 o’clock in the East), Irma’s eye “must move shortly on the lower Keys to move later this evening and night, near or on the coast west of the Floridian peninsula “.

Irma’s eye is expected to travel across northern state and southwest Georgia on Monday afternoon.

Irma, who has already claimed three lives in Florida, has left at least 25 dead and extensive material damage in the Caribbean, is 80 miles (125 kilometers) south of Naples (Florida) and 115 miles (180 kilometers ) to the southwestern part of Ft. Myers, in the same state.

It travels north with a speed of translation of 9 miles per hour (15 km / h) and presents maximum winds of 130 miles per hour (215 km / h), with stronger gusts.

Although her “weakening” is predicted, Irma will remain a “powerful hurricane while moving near or on the west coast of Florida.”

A storm surge warning is maintained for southern Santee River toward Jupiter Cove and from north Miami Beach to the south all the way across the Floridian peninsula to the Ochlockonee River, the Keys and Tampa Bay.

And there is a hurricane warning for Fernandina Beach to the south bypassing the entire peninsula to Indiana Pass, the Florida Keys, the Keys, Lake Okeechobee, Florida Bay and the provinces of Matanzas and Havana.

The NHC urged not to take to the streets after the eye of the hurricane, as “dangerous winds will return very quickly” when the center of the cyclone away.

The hurricane’s force winds extend up to 80 miles (130 kilometers) from the center of Irma and its tropical storm winds feel as far as 220 miles (350 kilometers), much wider than the width of the Florida peninsula.

Along with hurricane winds, the danger lies in heavy rainfall, which could leave water accumulations of up to 635 millimeters in the Keys and up to 508 in the south of the peninsula.

In addition, sea level rise, which could reach 4.5 meters in the southwest corner of the Florida Peninsula, could flood cities like Naples, Fort Myers or Marco Island.

Another major hazard is tornadoes and the National Weather Service issued a notice for the entire southern state until local noon.
For all this, compulsory evacuation orders have been issued for 6.3 million people.

The powerful hurricane Irma has also left more than 800,000 customers in the state without electricity, which is equivalent to 8% of the total, according to authorities.

The most affected county is undoubtedly Monroe, where the Keys and a part of the southwest coast lie, where 76% do not have electricity at a time when even Irma is hitting the area with its maximum winds .

Another of the affected counties is Miami-Dade, Florida’s most populous, with nearly half a million homes in the dark, 42% of the total.

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