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Hurricane Nicole, which has fallen to the level of a tropical storm, made landfall in Florida

Hurricane Nicole, which has fallen to the level of a tropical storm, made landfall in Florida

Hurricane Nicole hit Florida in the southeastern United States on Thursday before turning into a tropical storm, raising fears of devastation and delaying an important space mission.

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The hurricane made landfall early in the morning along the state’s Atlantic coast, just south of Vero Beach, according to a 0800 GMT bulletin from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami.

However, the NHC reported an hour later that this Category 1 hurricane – a rare phenomenon this late in the year – had weakened, the strongest winds increased from 120 to 110 km/h and is now classified as a tropical storm.

France Press agency

In addition to fearing damage, Nicole has prompted NASA to consider delaying the highly anticipated launch of the rocket, which had already been postponed.

The impact of the hurricane’s passage on Wednesday in the Bahamas archipelago was not yet known when it reached Florida.

France Press agency

Nicole arrives a few weeks after Hurricane Ian, one of the strongest recorded hurricanes in the United States, which killed more than a hundred people in Florida.

The commission said an alert had been issued for the state’s east coast, which stretches from the city of Boca Raton to the border between Flagler Counties and Volusia.

Four counties have been placed under mandatory evacuation orders, according to Florida Emergency Management Services.

Meanwhile, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis said 45 of Florida’s 67 counties were in a state of emergency.

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He added that 16,000 people were mobilized to deal with the power outage, and 600 members of the National Guard were put on alert.

Nicole threatens to hit the Kennedy Space Center, near Orlando, where a hurricane has already forced NASA to postpone the launch of the most powerful rocket ever built, from November 14-16.

France Press agency

A possible new date for the Artemis 1 mission has been set for November 19.

The missile, called the SLS, is designed to withstand winds of up to 74.4 knots, or about 137 km/h.

This summer, two take-off attempts were called off at the last minute due to technical problems, and then the 98-meter machine had to be returned to its assembly building at the end of September to protect it from Hurricane Ian.

The missile, valued at several billion dollars, returned to the launch pad for only a few days.

The Artemis 1 test mission, without an astronaut on board, is to determine the first flight of a major US program to return to the Moon.