Ida made landfall Friday (local time) on the Cuban island of Isla de la Juventud, where meteorologists say rainfall could reach 50cm. Ida, now a Category 1 storm, could already cause deadly floods and mudslides in Cuba. A wind speed of 120 kilometers per hour is also measured.
Tens of thousands of residents were called for evacuation in Louisiana, where the hurricane made landfall Sunday exactly 16 years after Katrina. “Hurricane Ida is rapidly gaining strength and the situation appears to be changing by the hour,” said Governor John Bel Edwards, who declared a state of emergency. “Now is the time to complete your preparations.”
“This is going to be a storm that will change the lives of those who haven’t prepared,” Benjamin Schott, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told US media. Ida will likely make landfall south of New Orleans.
Local hospitals are sending patients home and preparing to go into lockdown. Local experts believe the hurricane could cause more than $20 billion in damage if it followed its predicted path. Hurricane Katrina, a Category 3 hurricane, caused $120 billion in losses 16 years ago.
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