Saturday, August 13, 2022

Thousands In Louisiana Flee Hurricane Ida

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BBC News:– Hurricane Ida has made landfall in the US state of Louisiana, with winds of 150mph (240km/h) and a potentially “catastrophic” storm surge, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) says.

Thousands of people have fled. Those who stayed have been advised to shelter in place until the storm passes.

Ida will test the flood defences – known as levees – of New Orleans, which were strengthened after Hurricane Katrina killed 1,800 people in 2005.

So far, the levees are holding.

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President Joe Biden said Ida would be “life-threatening”, with immense devastation likely beyond the coasts.

Already, more than 300,000 households in Louisiana are without power. Mr Biden warned it could take weeks to restore supplies.

Ida gathered strength over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico during the weekend.

It made landfall near Port Fourchon, south of New Orleans, as a category four hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale – meaning it will cause severe damage to buildings, trees and power lines.

In some places the storm surge could be as high as 16ft (4.8m), potentially submerging parts of the low-lying coastline.

It came ashore on the 16th anniversary of Katrina, a category three storm.

The impact of climate change on the frequency of storms is still unclear, but increased sea surface temperatures warm the air above, making more energy available to drive hurricanes.

As a result, they are likely to be more intense with more extreme rainfall.

New Orleans resident Tanya Gulliver Garcia, who works for the Center of Disaster Philanthropy, told the BBC she was staying put.

“I’m fairly worried – more than I thought I would be. I’ve volunteered in disasters for a number of years… but it’s different when it’s in your own home, instead of a nice, safe, sheltered place,” she said.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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