(Miami) Category 1 hurricane Isaias was heading towards the Bahamas on Friday, where it could strengthen before hitting Florida on Saturday and Sunday, so that the state is already grappling with a sharp upsurge in the coronavirus epidemic.
Leila MACOR with Daxia ROJAS in Washington
France Media Agency
Isaias went, during the night from Thursday to Friday, from the status of tropical storm to that of hurricane with winds blowing at the maximum speed of 120 kilometers / hour, according to the latest bulletin from the National Center for American hurricanes (NHC) at 11 local hours.
The hurricane could “strengthen today and tonight, and Isaias is expected to remain a hurricane for the next few days,” the NHC said.
The center of the Bahamas should be hit hard by this meteorological phenomenon on Friday night, while the northeast of the Bahamas and the east of the Florida peninsula, on part of which a “hurricane vigilance Was issued, should be affected Saturday and Sunday.
The Bahamas had already been devastated in September 2019 by the hurricane Dorian of category 5 who had done at least 47 dead, hundreds missing and caused billions of dollars in property damage.
“ Isaias could bring heavy rain to southern and eastern Florida starting Friday. This could cause sudden isolated floods and flooding in cities, ”the Florida Emergency Management Department warned.
During his visit to the Dominican Republic, Isaias has already been killed and caused river flooding while 11 of 31 provinces of the country had been placed on red alert.
Roads submerged in mud, torn high-voltage lines, decapitated trees and vegetation, flooded houses… Isaias also caused a lot of damage in Puerto Rico on Friday.
Disaster scenario 89184577
In order to prepare for the worst, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis urged his people to get ready and stockpile food for “at least seven days.”
The elected official also declared a state of emergency on Friday for counties on the state's east coast, from Miami-Dade to Nassau.
“The situation is constantly evolving and can change quickly,” he warned at a press conference.
The arrival of a hurricane when Florida has become one of the epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, is a real disaster scenario for this state, whose hospitals are already overwhelmed.
“COVID is serious. A hurricane is serious. If you combine them, the result is worse than the sum of the two. […] This will have a multiplier effect, not cumulative, “said former head of the emergency management services of this state, Bryan Koon, in April.
President Donald Trump visited the “Sunshine State” on Friday, which recorded a record number of deaths from the virus in 24 hours for the fourth consecutive day.
Florida deplored Friday 253 deaths in one day, thus surpassing the results of the previous days (253 dead Thursday, 216 Wednesday, 186 Tuesday).
The total number of victims in Florida since the start of the pandemic is 2020.
This State also has more than 470 02 case detected since the start of the pandemic, overtaking New York – long the epicenter of the American epidemic in the spring. It is second behind California, whose population is twice that of Florida.
Southeastern state has however started to close COVID testing centers – 16, very often tents, in anticipation of the hurricane.
“These are temporary structures that cannot withstand the winds of a tropical storm,” the Florida Emergency Management Department explained.
The fewer counties screening centers will remain open.