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Hurricane Ian threatens Cuba after Fiona hits Canada

"Ian is becoming a hurricane," the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) announced, warning that "additional rapid strengthening is expected today.

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Hurricane Ian threatens Cuba after Fiona hits Canada

"Ian is becoming a hurricane," the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) announced, warning that "additional rapid strengthening is expected today." The Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane strength ranges from 1 to 5.

Ian was heading northwest, towards western Cuba and the Cayman Islands with sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour, according to the NHC.

It should affect Monday in particular the west of Cuba, with "significant impacts of the wind and the storm surge", according to the NHC.

The US National Hurricane Center has issued a "hurricane alert" for several regions of Cuba (Isla de Juventud, Pinar Del Rio, and Artemisa).

The largest island in the British Cayman Islands territory, Grand Cayman, also issued a hurricane warning. Ian should be close to her on Monday.

- Towards a "major" hurricane -

The NHC had indicated on Sunday that it expected Ian to become a "major" hurricane in the next 24 to 48 hours, that is to say, according to its nomenclature, likely to inflict "devastating" damage, to damage houses, uprooting trees and disrupting the supply of water and electricity.

The organization describes as "major" hurricanes those whose winds reach at least 178 km / h, i.e. categories 3, 4 and 5 on the so-called "Saffir-Simpson" scale.

Ian should go up, via the Gulf of Mexico, towards Florida which has already begun to take precautions.

NASA has given up the takeoff scheduled for Tuesday of its new mega-rocket for the Moon, from the Kennedy Space Center located in this southern state of the United States.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in all 67 counties on Sunday, and authorities were ramping up preparations.

“Expect heavy rain, strong winds, flash flooding, storm surge and even isolated tornadoes,” he said.

The governor asked residents to stock up on food, water, medicine and fuel as well as prepare for power outages.

Mr. DeSantis assigned 2,500 National Guard members to the damage control effort.

Several Florida municipalities, such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, have also started distributing sandbags to residents to help them protect their homes from the risk of flooding.

US President Joe Biden has placed 24 of the counties in a state of emergency, allowing federal aid to be released.

"It's never too early to prepare," tweeted Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.

- After Fiona's damage -

Hurricane Fiona sowed death and destruction last week in the Caribbean, where at least seven people were killed, and Saturday on the Atlantic coast of Canada (two dead).

Fiona is now a post-tropical storm that weakens as it moves northward.

In Canada, the province of Prince Edward Island announced a death on Sunday afternoon, while in the province of Newfoundland, rescuers found the body of a woman in the water floating in the water. 73 years old, swept away by the ocean on Saturday during the storm.

This 73-year-old woman lived in the small town of Channel-Port-aux-Basques, in the province of Newfoundland.

There, more than 20 homes were torn away by the raging ocean and 200 residents had to be evacuated, according to Mayor Brian Button. The victim had apparently taken refuge in his cellar when the waves invaded everything.

Some 320,000 people remained without power on Sunday in five provinces as Fiona knocked down trees and ripped roofs off. Hundreds of employees worked to restore power, while the army helped clear the roads.

“At the end of the day, this will be the storm that has caused the most damage that we have ever seen,” commented Tim Houston, the premier of one of the most affected provinces, Nova Scotia, on CBC Sunday. News. "The damage is immense."

The hurricane had already killed at least seven people last week, including four in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic and one in Guadeloupe (France).

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