Death Toll from Hurricane Michael Rises to at Least Five

11 October, 2018, 23:43 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Via NOAA

NASA released stunning views of Hurricane Michael from space, as the storm continues its trek toward the Florida panhandle.

- Powerful pressure: 919 millibars minimum pressure in the eye, the third most intense hurricane landfall in the recorded history.

An estimated 375,000 people in more than 20 counties were ordered or advised to evacuate.

Torrential downpours and flash flooding from the storm over the weekend caused 13 deaths in Central America.

In Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey has placed the entire state under an emergency declaration.

What are the latest developments?

Now ranked as a Category 1 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson wind scale, Michael could grow into a Category 3, becoming the second major hurricane in the Atlantic basin this year following Florence last month, forecasters said.

Authorities are anxious about a storm surge that could be as high as 12 feet.

Hurricane Michael is forecast to deliver catastrophic damage to Gulf County in the Panhandle of Florida, Southern Bay County in the Panhandle of Florida and Southwestern Franklin County in the Big Bend of are of Florida.

Gary Givens, owner of Gary's Oyster Shack in Panama City, Florida, said he was closing his restaurant around lunch time on Tuesday with the help of his crew ahead of the storm's arrival.

Michael is now moving northwards at 12mph.

A category two hurricane is one that has wind speeds of between 96 to 110 miles per hour and is described as having "extremely risky winds" which "will cause extensive damage" according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Winds scale.

"Weakening is expected after landfall as Michael moves across the south-eastern United States", the NHC added.

Despite the warnings, local officials believe a far smaller number of people have in fact moved away.

In Panhandle counties, most state offices, schools and universities were closed for the rest of the week.

"It really started as a tropical storm, and then it went to Category 1, then it was Category 2 and before you know it, it was Category 4", O Shaughnessy said.

After striking Florida, Michael is forecast to move up the East Coast on Wednesday and Thursday ploughing through the Carolinas, still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

General Terrence O Shaughnessy, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command, said some Florida residents may have been surprised by the rapid growth of the storm. Forecasters are also predicting the possibility of spinoff tornadoes.

"Never ends, but we're all prepared and hopefully it won't be as bad as it's looking", Trump said.

Adrian Mahangos hopes he is one of the lucky ones.

Mr Mahangos is not going anywhere.

Some Panama City residents were seen on the beach enjoying the cool breeze ahead of the storm, while others were loading up cars with luggage and visitors were checking out of hotels.

A man in the distance is gathering sand from the beach while it's still light and pouring it into trash bags - making do with what's at hand to protect from the water. Cuban authorities said they evacuated about 400 people from low-lying areas. Mandatory evacuations were under way in coastal areas, with 1,250 National Guard soldiers aiding the process and more than 4,000 troops placed on standby, Scott tweeted.

Those that remain will be facing a frightening ordeal. "A National Ocean Service water level station at Apalachicola recently reported over 7.7 feet of inundation above ground level", the Hurricane Center said.

According to the Associated Press, six people were killed in Honduras, four in Nicaragua and three in El Salvador.



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