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Storm Elsa turns into a hurricane as it approaches Florida

Storm Elsa turns into a hurricane as it approaches Florida

After hitting the Caribbean, the storm Elsa The hurricane intensified and headed for the Florida coast on Tuesday evening, as rescue services in Surfside near Miami raced against the clock to search the ruins of a building whose collapse killed at least 36 people.

• Read also: the storm Elsa Leaving Cuba for Florida

• Read also: the storm Elsa At least three are killed in the Caribbean

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11:00 pm local time Tuesday (03:00 GMT Wednesday), Elsa It was, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), just in front of Tampa Bay, with “heavy rain and wind gusts spreading inland into southwest and midwest Florida.”

With winds of up to 120 km/h, the NHC decided on Tuesday evening to change its status to a Category 1 hurricane (out of five) on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Elsa, which is moving north at 22 km/h, “is expected to make landfall along the northern coast of Florida on Wednesday morning before advancing into the southeastern United States on Thursday.”

Florida meteorologists say the storm is bringing with it a flood of rain and some potential hurricanes.

In the northwestern part of the peninsula, the water can also rise up to 1.5 meters due to the winds.

Tampa Airport suspended commercial flights from 5 p.m. until at least 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.

He called the people to get ready

“We call on Florida residents to begin their preparations, and this includes being able to be without electricity for a few days, and providing enough food and water for each member of their household,” Janet Nunez urged on Tuesday. Florida Governor.

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“If there are evacuation orders in your (residential) area, it’s for your own safety, the counties will open emergency shelters,” she added.

After killing three people in the Dominican Republic and St. Lucia, the storm hit Cuba on Monday, leaving torrential rains in its wake but not causing extensive damage to the island, as in Haiti, a country particularly prone to natural disasters.

Elsa Friday became the first hurricane of the season in the Atlantic, a Category One hurricane, then on Saturday it was downgraded to a tropical storm after it weakened, before being reclassified as a hurricane Tuesday.

Once it hits the west coast of Florida, Elsa It is expected to lose its power as it crosses the interior to ascend into Georgia and the states of South Carolina.

The tropical storm’s passing comes less than two weeks after a building partially collapsed in Surfside, a small town north of Miami, at midnight on June 24.

The disaster left at least 36 people dead, 29 of whom have been identified and 109 missing, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniela Levine Cava said Tuesday afternoon.

buzzing of rubble

The remainder of the building, dubbed Champlain Towers South, was destroyed Sunday evening in a controlled explosion, as authorities fear the building is threatening the safety of lifeguards. The arrival of the storm reinforced these fears.

The clearance operations to find the victims continued throughout Tuesday, despite the rain and wind.

“We are still expecting gusts of gusts and heavy rain from time to time today,” Umm said on Tuesday.I Levin Cava.

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She said 200 rescuers searching relentlessly at the site were only stopped by lightning, which suspended operations for an hour.

Since the excavations began more than a week ago, more than two tons of rubble have been extracted from under the rubble.

Of the missing people, authorities were able to confirm that about 70 were in the building the night it collapsed.

“We know there may be people who were in the building and no one reported who they are,” M said.I Levin Kava, stressing that the police “will make sure to correctly determine who was and who was not in this building.”