Cedar Key (US). Florida’s vulnerable coastal areas were ordered to pack up and leave the area as Hurricane Idalia continues to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico and cause heavy rain and flooding.
Idalia caused heavy rain to lash Cuba on Monday and Tuesday, flooding the country’s tobacco-growing province of Pinar del Río and knocking out many homes. Idalia had intensified into a Category 2 storm by Tuesday afternoon and by evening, winds of up to 165 kmph were gusting over the affected areas.
It is expected to intensify into a Category 3 hurricane on Wednesday morning with winds of up to 193 kilometers per hour in the Big Bend area. Big Bend is the area where the Florida Panhandle turns towards the peninsula. Following Idalia’s landfall, Florida, which is dealing with the devastation caused by last year’s Hurricane Ian, is expected to be hit hard.
The National Weather Service in Tallahassee called Idalia “an unprecedented event”, as no major hurricane in known history has passed through the Bay adjacent to Big Bend. In Cedar Key, Commissioner Sue Colson is seen packing up documents and electronic products at City Hall along with other city officials. He ordered the mandatory evacuation of all 900 residents of the town.
More than a dozen jawans were seen going door-to-door warning that the storm could cause inundation of up to 4.5 metres. Colson said, “Just one word: Leave the area. This is not something that should be discussed.” Governor Ron DeSantis repeated the warning at a news conference in the afternoon. “You really should go now,” he said. Now is the time.” Earlier, DeSantis insisted that residents did not need to leave the province, but should instead “move to higher ground in a safer structure.” People can return to their homes after the storm subsides.
‘Yellow Alert’ issued for Cyclone Saola in China
Beijing. China’s national observatory on Wednesday issued a ‘yellow alert’ for Typhoon Saola, which is expected to bring storm surge and heavy rain along the country’s eastern and southern coastal regions. According to the National Meteorological Center (NMC), Cyclone Saola is moving northwest at a speed of 10 kmph and is likely to move northeast into the South China Sea on Wednesday night or early Thursday.
The NMC said it is expected to make landfall on Friday in an area stretching from southern Fujian to eastern Guangdong. According to the NMC, the typhoon will cause strong winds along the Bashi Channel, Taiwan Strait and the coast of Fujian from 8 a.m. Wednesday. Heavy rain will occur in some parts of Taiwan island from 8 a.m. Wednesday to 8 a.m. Thursday, while rain is expected in some areas. The Meteorological Center urged local authorities to prepare for possible emergencies caused by the storm and be on high alert for geological disasters.
Also read: 4 dead, 48 missing due to heavy rains in China’s Sichuan province