Hurricane Irma: Storm hits west coast of Florida

Hurricane Irma is blasting up the west coast of Florida and is now bearing down on the city of Tampa, BBC reports.

Irma made landfall on Marco Island off Florida’s west coast with winds of up to 120mph (192km/h), but has since been downgraded from category three to two. More than 3.4 million homes in the state are without power, and parts of the city of Miami are under water. Three storm-related deaths have been reported, as Irma moves northwards.

In its latest update at 03:00 GMT Monday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) says “hurricane conditions are continuing across portions of the central Florida peninsula”.

Irma currently has maximum sustained winds of 100mph (160km/h), the NHC says.

The storm was earlier pummelling the area around the city of Fort Myers. Irma has already devastated parts of the Caribbean, killing at least 28 people. Some 6.3 million people in Florida had been told to evacuate.

President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration and emergency federal aid for Florida.

At 03:00 GMT, the centre of the hurricane was about 50 miles (80km) south-east of the city of Tampa.

Irma is now losing strength, the NHC says.

“On the forecast track, the centre of Irma will continue to move over the western Florida peninsula through Monday morning and then into the south-eastern United States late Monday and Tuesday.”

The storm made landfall at Marco Island at 19:35 GMT.

The NHC earlier tweeted that people in the area of Naples and Marco Island should move away from the coast as storm surges of up to 15ft were possible.


Show More
Back to top button