Florida’s governor has warned the state to brace for a potential “major disaster” as
category two Hurricane Ian gathers force in the Caribbean.
Strong winds began hitting Cuba’s south coast on Monday night. Ian is expected to
make landfall on Florida’s west coast sometime on Wednesday.
The hurricane’s exact path is uncertain but Governor Ron DeSantis warned of “broad
impacts throughout the state”.
Some parts of the state have not seen a hurricane of this magnitude in about a
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said it expects “rapid strengthening” from Ian
over the next 48 hours as it inches north from its current location 130 west of Cuba.
“This is a really big hurricane at this point,” Florida’s governor said at a Monday news
conference, urging residents to “remain calm”, but “do what you need to be
The governor declared a state of emergency for all of Florida over the weekend and
has activated 5,000 National Guard troops to assist with relief efforts.
Mr DeSantis said Ian posed a risk of “dangerous storm surge, heavy rainfall, flash
flooding, strong winds, hazardous seas, and isolated tornadic activity”.
A bulletin issued at 2200e on Monday by the NHC said that Ian could develop into a
category three storm with wind speeds of 120mph or greater by the time it hits Cuba.
Tuesday classes have been cancelled in parts of the island, and evacuations are in
place in a handful of western provinces, including near the country’s tobacco region.
Authorities in the Cayman Islands, a British territory, are working to provide
plywood, sandbags, and other supplies to local residents,