Press "Enter" to skip to content

Hurricane Ida struck part of Cuba and is preparing to strike Louisiana with its fury on the anniversary of Katrina

Hurricane Ida passed this Friday from tropical storm to hurricane After hitting Isla de la Juventud, Cuba, and forecasts anticipate that it will continue to strengthen until it becomes a category 3 hurricane before making landfall on the coast of Louisiana, in the United States, on Saturday night or early Sunday. .

For now, the governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, declared the state of emergency, ordered early evacuations and indicated that Ida could even reach category 4.

According to the Cuban Institute of Meteorology (Insmet), Ida, which started as a storm, became Category 1 hurricane before hitting Cuban soil, where it hit the fishing village of La Coloma, in Pinar del Río, with sustained winds of 130 km / h.

The authorities reported that 2,461 people were evacuated before the arrival of this weather phenomenon.

The hurricane, which hit the Isla de la Juventud municipality in southwest Cuba this Friday, was moving northwest at about 24 km / h, with maximum sustained winds of 130 km / h and stronger gusts, said the National Hurricane Center of the United States (NHC, in English), based in Miami.

It is expected to hit US shores on Sunday as an “extremely dangerous” hurricane, the agency anticipated.

After crossing Pinar del Río from south to north, Ida will move through the southeast and central Gulf of Mexico, and is forecast to make landfall in western Louisiana. “like a Category 4 hurricane“US meteorologists said in a tweet.

According to the hurricane center, Ida can generate “rainfall totals” of up to “20 inches” in western Cuba and cause “flash floods.”

As the surface layer of the oceans warms due to climate change, cyclones become more powerful and carry more water, posing an increasing threat to coastal communities, the scientists explained.

Storm surges, amplified by rising sea levels, can be especially devastating, and the NHC warned that Ida could cause “large and destructive waves” in western coastal areas of the country.

Ida arrived at a time when Cuba, with 11.2 million inhabitants, faces a high rate of coronavirus infections, which has put in check their health services, pride and column of their social system, as well as deaths from the virus.

The Minister of Health, José Ángel Portal, warned through his Twitter account that the country faces a “double threat”, in reference to the pandemic and the passage of the hurricane. “Facing a meteorological phenomenon of this nature, in the midst of the most complex epidemiological scenario that the country has experienced since the beginning of the pandemic, implies a greater effort on the part of our Public Health system and the entire population,” he said.

In the same social network, President Miguel Díaz-Canel called for “discipline and responsibility so as not to regret the loss of life.”

Cuba reported 82 deaths and 7,639 covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours, adding 4,902 deaths and 627,311 cases since March 2020, when the first people with the virus were registered in the country.

On the night of this Friday it was reported that Hurricane Ida entered the Gulf of Mexico with winds of 130km / h and it was determined that practically the friction with the island of Cuba did not produce a decrease in its intensity and is shaping up to reach New Orleans with predicted winds of 222km / h and gusts of 268km / h to become category 4.

Between the evacuation and the memory of Katrina

In New Orleans, United States, the image of the destructive passage of Hurricane Katrina, which caused the most fatalities in the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, is still alive. Therefore, faced with the threat of Ida, President Joe Biden issued a federal emergency declaration and the evacuation of some areas of Louisiana and the oil platforms was ordered.

The governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, declared a state of emergency and urged citizens on Friday to take shelter before the storm makes landfall, something that is expected around dawn on Sunday.

“By tomorrow night, tropical storm-force winds will begin to move toward the Louisiana coast. So, the next 24 hours are very important. Now is the time to finish your preparations. (…) When night falls tomorrow, they must be where they intend to shelter from the storm, “Bel transmitted.

Ida will arrive in the coastal city on the anniversary of the deadly Hurricane Katrina, which hit the region 16 years ago, and after its passage through Cuba, experts predict that the cyclone will strengthen to category 3 or even 4, out of a maximum of 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, the level at which New Orleans is expected to impact.

“Ida certainly has the potential to be very bad … It will move quickly, so the trip across the Gulf from Cuba to Louisiana will only take a day and a half,” said Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami. .

To all this, the Mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, ordered the evacuation of all people living outside the levee system that protects the area from flooding.

“With a direct hit, I don’t know what will be left, if there’s anything left … Anyone who’s not worried has something wrong, “said Capt. Ross Eichorn, a fishing guide southwest of New Orleans.

By the time it reaches the central Gulf Coast on Sunday, Ida could dump 20 to 16 inches of rain, and even as much as 20 inches, in isolated areas from southeastern Louisiana to the coast of Mississippi and Alabama through Monday morning. , according to weather forecasts.

With information from agencies

GRB

.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *