AFP, Posted on Wednesday 07 July 2021 at 07:06
After hitting the Caribbean, Hurricane Elsa intensified into a hurricane and made landfall on a Florida beach Tuesday night, with surfacers rushing in time to dig up the building’s rubble on a surfboard near Miami, whose collapse killed at least 36 people.
Local Tuesday (03:00 GMT Wednesday) night, Elsa, in front of Tampa Bay, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), “heavy rain and wind blowing inland southwest and midwest” Florida “.
With winds of up to 120km / h, the NHC decided on Tuesday evening to change its position to a Type (fifth) hurricane on the Sapphire-Simpson scale.
Elsa, moving north at a speed of 22 km / h, said the NHC had previously said that a landslide was expected off the coast of North Florida on Wednesday morning before advancing to the southeastern United States on Thursday.
Florida forecasters say the storm will be accompanied by rain and a few hurricanes are possible.
In the northwestern part of the peninsula, water can rise up to 1.5 meters due to wind.
Tampa Airport has suspended local flights from 5pm to 10am at least until Wednesday morning.
– People are invited to prepare –
“We call on the people of Florida to start their products and this includes not having electricity for a few days and having enough food and water for every member of their family,” Jeanette Nunes stressed Tuesday. Governor of Florida.
After killing three people in the Dominican Republic and Saint Lucia, the storm hit Cuba on Monday, causing heavy rain but no major damage to the island, a country as vulnerable as Haiti in particular. Natural.
Elsa became the first hurricane of the season in the Atlantic, with the first type on Friday, then downgraded to a tropical storm on Saturday after weakening before being classified as a hurricane again on Tuesday.
Once on the west coast of Florida, Elsa is expected to lose her power as she travels inland to climb into the states of Georgia and South and North Carolina.
At midnight on June 24, a tropical storm passes just two weeks after a building partially collapsed in a small town just north of Miami.
At least 36 people have been killed in the disaster, 29 of whom have been identified and 109 are missing, Miami-Tate County Mayor Daniel Levine Kawa said Tuesday afternoon.
– Two Tons of Ruins –
The rest of the building, known as Sampline Towers South, was destroyed in a controlled explosion Sunday evening, officials feared, threatening the safety of the building’s rescuers. These fears were reinforced by the arrival of the storm.
Rescue efforts to locate the victims continued despite rain and wind throughout Tuesday.
Levine Kawa said on Tuesday, “We are still expecting occasional heavy rain today.
200 or more rescuers who were constantly searching the site were only interrupted by lightning, which halted operations for an hour, he said.
Since excavations began a week ago, more than two tons of rubble have been extracted from the rubble.
On the missing persons, authorities were able to confirm that there were 70 people in the building the night it collapsed.
“We know there may have been people in the building and no one has been notified to identify them,” Ms Levine Kawa said, adding that “the police will make sure to identify exactly who is in this building and who is not.” .