Elements are unleashed. l’Hurricane Ian Landslide officially hit Cayo Costa in southwest Florida between Tampa and Fort Myers on Wednesday. The first was a Category 4 with gusts of up to 240 km/h, which was downgraded to a Category 3 in the evening. But the consequences are already “catastrophic,” according to officials, with dramatic flooding and nearly 2 million people without electricity in the evening. Twenty migrants whose boat capsized are still missing, but seven were rescued or swam to shore.
The water rose 4 meters
The main danger from storm surges is rising water rather than wind. It reached nearly 4 meters in places, according to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The trend appeared to improve in the evening, but could worsen with high tides and rainfall in excess of 50cm, particularly in Tampa.
A gradual return of power to Cuba
Hurricane Ian hit Cuba earlier on Tuesday, killing two people and plunging the island into darkness. By midday, a progressive restart of the island’s eight major thermoelectric plants began, and generators began feeding power into the network.
Some 25 networks in Havana and 11 other provinces have started to restore electricity to some consumers, except Pinar del Río, Artemisa and Mayabeque, which were hit hard by the hurricane, according to the same source.
As the surface of the oceans warms, with stronger winds and more precipitation, the frequency of more intense hurricanes increases, but not the total number of hurricanes.
According to Gary Luckman, a professor of atmospheric sciences at North Carolina State University in the US, several studies have demonstrated a “potential link” between climate change and a phenomenon known as “climate extremes”. A tropical storm strengthens into 3 or more hurricanes within 24 hours, like Ian. “The consensus is that there will be fewer storms in the future, but the biggest ones will be more intense,” the scientist told AFP.
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