Hurricane Irma Makes Landfall in Florida Keys

Added On September 11, 2017

Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys on Sunday. It was identified as category 4 with a gust wind speed of 171 km/h.

Irma made landfall at the Cudjoe Key in the lower Florida Keys, cutting off the power in over 3 million homes and businesses.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Irma, with a maximum sustained wind speed of 215 kph, is moving northwest at 13 kph. It is expected to hit continental United States later Sunday.

Authorities said 27 people have been killed by Hurricane Irma. The death toll is expected to dramatically rise as the path of the hurricane is projected to cross ill-prepared population centers in West Florida.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday referred to Hurricane Irma as “some big monster“, saying the response so far has been going "really well".

SOUNDBITE(English): DONALD TRUMP, US President (0:02:15 – 0:02:48)
"I think it's been going really well. It's a rough hurricane, as you better than anybody. The Coast Guard has been amazing already. You've been hearing what they're doing right in the middle of the storm. FEMA has been incredible. We're working very well with the governor and the other governors in the surrounding states. I just got back — we had the Cabinet, the whole Cabinet now. Every group is coordinating really well. The bad news is this some big monster, but I think we're very well coordinated."

Local media reported 2 million people are out of power in Florida, including three quarters of the Miami-Dade County located in southeast of Florida.

Much of downtown Miami has been flooded due to the storm surge, and two construction cranes were damaged.

At the South Miami Senior High hurricane shelter, more than 800 locals sought refuge from the hurricane.

SOUNDBITE(English): BELKIS  LOBAINA, local resident 0042-0137
"The condition there is pretty terrible, the food is so so, you only get sandwich, we want have hot meal, like rice and beans meat.  We don’t have showers, we need to at least wash ourselves, wipes.
No TV stations coming to tell us, no newspaper no radio stations , we are here not informed by anything except for Miami Herald. We don’t have phones, we lost everything due to the hurricane."

SOUNDBITE(English): MAX BOUBEE, local resident 0137-完
"I brought food I have big family I have four kids a dog and a cat, so I have to find a shelter with animals, I just brought food and clothes anythings that I could need for next ten days."

Irma also hit Cuba's capital Havana with strong winds, rain and huge waves, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

Thousands were affected by the floods that reached some 600 meters inland. Security and police personnel rescued people in rafts and boats.

Over 1 million people were evacuated across Cuba, and some 100,000 in Havana.