US President Donald Trump said the country was prepared for the imminent arrival of powerful Hurricane Irma, although he acknowledged it was “never” seen.
“It looks like Irma’s going to be a really bad (really hurricane), really bad. But we’re prepared, we’re as prepared as you can be for something like that, that I can say,” he said at the start of a meeting with his cabinet at the presidential retreat of Camp David, Maryland.
The president and first lady, Melania, spend this weekend at Camp David with the entire Government team and their partners to address the priorities of the new political course and follow the evolution of the arrival in Florida of Irma, the hurricane more potent ever recorded in the Atlantic.
Trump, in a message similar to the ones he has sent to the population in the last few days, recalled today Irma’s “enormous destructive power” and urged the population to leave its path following the instructions of the authorities.
“This is a storm of enormous destructive power and I ask all those who are on the path of the storm to heed all the instructions of government officials,” he said, according to a video of almost five minutes facilitated by the House Blanca.
The images show Trump’s initial speech before the meeting, explaining that the issues on the table are the arrival of Irma, the strategy to follow the North Korean nuclear threat and the economic agenda, especially the Tax Reform.
“We will address the latest provocative and destabilizing actions by North Korea and the steps the United States will take to keep our people safe and, frankly, to keep people safe around the world,” he said.
Another theme of the meeting was the tax reform that Trump wants to get through this autumn, a process that will ask to “accelerate” Congress because it is now, in his view, more necessary, “with what has happened to the hurricane.”
Trump signed a law on Friday with a $ 15.2 billion financial aid package for victims of Hurricane Harvey, which struck South Texas and Louisiana last week, leaving more than 60 dead and 30,000 displaced.
In response to his second natural catastrophe as president, Trump insisted today on a message the Florida authorities have repeated over the last few days: “Property is replaceable but lives are not, safety must be first!”
“Our Administration is following the evolution of Hurricane Irma on a continuous basis, and we are in constant communication with state and local officials, and we will do our best to save lives and support the needy,” he said.
And he promised that all levels of government of the country will work “united” to “restore, recover and rebuild quickly” after the hurricane.
Irma first threatens the Florida Keys, where authorities have warned that there will be no safe place, so those who remain there despite the evacuation order will be at their own risk until the emergency services can go, it will not be immediately.
Miami is most likely to escape the hurricane eye due to a turning that now threatens the southwest coast of Florida, prompting state authorities to issue new evacuation orders.
Irma’s external bands were already felt today in the Keys, where the hurricane is expected this Sunday morning, and in the south of the Florida peninsula, where it can touch land that same day in the afternoon or evening.
Irma degraded herself today to category 3 after touching land on Friday night on the north coast of Cuba, but will be strengthened again on her way to Florida, according to the US National Hurricane Center (CNH).
As of noon Saturday, about 6.3 million Floridians had been ordered to evacuate their places of residence, a figure that is equivalent to 30 percent of the state’s population, and more than 54,000 are in the 385 shelters set up so far.