Authorization

Hurricane Irma will be 'devastating' to US - Fema head

Hurricane Irma will be 'devastating' to US - Fema head

Media playback is unsupported on your device
People in Florida prepare for Hurricane Irma
Hurricane Irma will "devastate" either Florida or neighbouring states, the head of the US federal emergency agency has said.Brock Long said parts of Florida would be without power for days, and more than 100,000 people may need shelter.Meanwhile there are reports of serious looting on the hurricane-hit Caribbean island of St Martin.Hurricane Irma has left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean, affecting an estimated 1.2m people.It has been downgraded to a category four storm, but officials warn that it remains "extremely dangerous".
The US National Weather Service says that Irma was expected to bring wind speeds of around 165mph (270km/h) over the weekend.Some 500,000 people were told to leave south Florida with Irma due on Sunday."Hurricane Irma continues to be a threat that is going to devastate the United States in either Florida or some of the south-eastern states," Mr Long said."The entire south-eastern United States better wake up and pay attention," he added.
Troops deployed against post-Irma looting
The areas most at risk
In pictures: Irma ravages Caribbean
The death toll rose continued to rise on Friday in the Caribbean, where at least 19 people were killed in the wake of the deadly storm.
Media playback is unsupported on your device
IRMA update
France's Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said nine people were dead and seven missing in the French territories of St Martin, an island resort shared with the Netherlands, and St Barthelemy. Another death has been confirmed on the Dutch territory of Sint Maarten.French officials there said six out of 10 homes on St Martin were so badly damaged that they were uninhabitable. The US Consulate General in Curacao said it believes an estimated 6,000 Americans are stranded on St Martin. French, British and Dutch military authorities have deployed aid - including warships and planes equipped with food, water and troops - to the popular tourist chain of Caribbean islands.
Hurricane Irma: A visual guide
The worst Atlantic hurricanes
Irma myths debunked
Where is Irma - and where next?
The storm, which lashed the Turks and Caicos Islands and brought torrential rain to the Dominican Republic and Haiti, was headed toward Cuba and the Bahamas. The worst of the storm is expected to hit east and central Cuba, with the eye of the storm predicted to pass between the north coast of Cuba and the Bahamas, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.About 50,000 tourists are fleeing or have fled Cuba, with resorts on the north coast now empty, Reuters reports.
A huge evacuation of south-eastern low-lying coastal areas in the Bahamas has been ordered. The tourism ministry said in a video statement that thousands of tourists left before the storm's arrival.Hurricane Irma is expected to hit the US state of Florida at the weekend, with the head of the US emergency agency predicting a "truly devastating" impact.
Hurricane Irma will be 'devastating' to US - Fema head

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Nasa images on Thursday show the eye of Irma over the Dominican Republic and Haiti
South Florida "may be uninhabitable for weeks or months" because of the storm, the National Weather Service said.On the archipelago of Turks and Caicos, with its population of about 35,000, one witness described a drop in pressure that could be felt in people's chests.Irma ripped off roofs on the main island, Grand Turk, flooded streets, snapped utility poles and caused a widespread black-out.Governor John Freeman told the BBC that people in low-lying areas were evacuated and sent to shelters. The islands' highest point is only 50m (163ft).Virginia Clerveaux, director of the Turks and Caicos Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies, warned that even inland areas could be inundated by the storm surge."We are expecting inundation from both rainfall as well as storm surge. And we may not be able to come rescue [residents] in a timely manner."Irma also caused some damage to roofs, flooding and power outages to the northern parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Which other areas have already been hit?
Hurricane Irma will be 'devastating' to US - Fema head

Media playback is unsupported on your device
The island of Barbuda is "barely habitable", says PM Gaston Browne
The Turks and Caicos Islands: widespread damage, although extent unclear
Barbuda: the small island is said to be "barely habitable", with 95% of the buildings damaged. Prime Minister Gaston Browne estimates reconstruction will cost $100m (?80m). One death has been confirmed
Anguilla: extensive damage with one person confirmed dead
Puerto Rico: more than 6,000 residents of the US territory are in shelters and many more without power. At least three people have died
US Virgin Islands: damage to infrastructure was said to be widespread, with four deaths confirmed
Haiti and the Dominican Republic: Both battered by the storm, but neither had as much damage as initially feared
British troops have arrived in Anguilla to take part in the disaster relief operation
What the US can expect
Irma is due to hit Florida as a category four hurricane on Sunday, bringing storm surges and flooding."If you look at the size of this storm, it's huge," Florida Governor Rick Scott said on Thursday. "It's wider than our entire state and could cause major and life-threatening impacts on both coasts - coast to coast."US President Donald Trump said: "I can say this: Florida is as well prepared as you can be for something like this. Now it's just a question of what happens."
How do you calculate the cost of a hurricane?
Teenaged surfer dies while riding a wave in Barbados during Irma
Hurricane and storm surge warnings have been issued for south Florida and the Florida Keys, the US National Hurricane Center says.After ripping through Florida's Atlantic coast, the storm is expected to move into Georgia and South Carolina. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said a mandatory evacuation on the state's Atlantic coast was scheduled to begin on Saturday. Roads and airports have been jammed as thousands of people tried to evacuate areas at risk, with reports of fuel shortages and gridlock on some roads.Many tourists are stranded with no seats left on flights back to their countries as flights to and from airports in Florida are being suspended.Orlando's international airport said commercial flights would stop from 17:00 local time (21:00 GMT) on Saturday.
Are there more hurricanes to come?
Another storm, Jose, further out in the Atlantic behind Irma, is now a category four hurricane, with winds of up to 195km/h (120mph). Some slight strengthening is possible in the next day or so, according to the NHC.Hurricane Katia, in the Gulf of Mexico, has strengthened a little but still is a category one storm, with winds of up to 140km/h (85mph). A warning is in effect for the coast of the Mexican state of Veracruz and the storm is expected to make landfall on Saturday.Are you in the region? Are you a holidaymaker unable to get a flight home or a resident who has been preparing for Hurricane Irma? If it is safe for you to do so, share your experiences by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:
WhatsApp: +447555 173285
Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
Send pictures/video to yourpics@bbc.co.uk
Upload your pictures / video here
Send an SMS or MMS to 61124 or +44 7624 800 100
Or use the form below:
Your contact details
Name
(optional)
Your E-mail address
(required)
Town & Country
(optional)
Your telephone number
(optional)
Comments
(required)
If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can
contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as
you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published.
When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others,
take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.
Terms and conditions
See also:
Leave a comment
TOP Video
News
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«    September 2017    »
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930