After hitting the Caribbean, Tropical Storm Elsa headed to the Gulf of Mexico and Florida on Tuesday, still hanging on to endless searches in the ruins of a building whose collapse killed at least 32 people.
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At 8 a.m. local time, Elsa was 54 miles from the Keys island chain in southernmost Florida, and was headed toward the US state’s west coast where it was expected to make landfall near Tampa on Wednesday morning, the Guardian reported. For local weather services.
And they warned on Twitter of the possibility of heavy rain, strong winds and some hurricanes in southern Florida.
In the northwestern part of the peninsula, the water can rise up to 1.5 meters due to winds of more than 110 km / h expected near the coast, a force close to the category of a hurricane.
France Press agency
Tampa Airport announced the suspension of commercial flights from 5 p.m. local time until at least 10 a.m. Wednesday.
“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.
“If there are evacuation orders in your (residential) area, it’s for your own safety, the counties will open emergency shelters,” she added.
After three people were killed in the Dominican Republic and Saint Lucia, Elsa hit Cuba on Monday, leaving torrential rain in its wake, but without causing major damage to the island.
Once on land, Elsa is expected to lose some of her power as she travels through the interior of Florida back to Georgia and the states of South and North Carolina.
The passage of the tropical storm comes less than two weeks after the disaster in Surfside, a small town north of Miami, in which a building partially collapsed in the middle of the night of June 24, killing at least 32 people and missing 113.
Most of the building, dubbed Champlain Towers South, was destroyed Sunday evening in a controlled explosion, with authorities fearing the rest of the building could collapse, threatening the safety of lifeguards. These fears were exacerbated by the onset of the storm.
And the clearance operations to find the victims continued at night from Monday to Tuesday, despite the intensification of rain and wind. The 200 or so lifeguards searching the site relentlessly, were only interrupted by lightning during the night.
According to Daniela Levine Cava, Mayor of Miami-Dade County, more than two tons of debris have been pulled from under the rubble.
“We are still expecting occasional heavy rain today,” she said on Tuesday.
Of the 113 missing, 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 has reported their identity,” Ms Levin Kafa said, stressing that the police “will make sure to determine who was and who was not in this building.”