Isaias was strengthened to a category 1 hurricane as it made its way to the Bahamas and the southeastern state of Florida, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said early Friday morning. Between Saturday afternoon and the early hours of Sunday it could make landfall on the east coast of Florida.

The cyclone, which has sustained winds of 130 km / h with stronger gusts, is expected to continue “moving close to the southeast Bahamas” and “be close to the center.” of the islands “on Friday night,” the NHC indicated in its early morning bulletin. The NHC expects a strengthening of the hurricane, which could rise to category 2 in the next 48 hours.

The National Hurricane Center forecast map

Isaías, who is moving northwest at about 30 kilometers per hour, left a dead and floods in rivers of the Dominican Republic, where 14 of its 32 provinces were on red alert. In a preliminary report, the Emergency Operations Center reported that the fall of a high-voltage cable from strong winds killed a 53-year-old man in El Seibo province, in the east of the Caribbean country.

The floods were registered in San José de Ocoa, a small region where some 80,000 people live in the country of 10.5 million inhabitants. The effects of the meteor are produced when the country already suffers from the coronavirus, with almost 68,000 infections and almost 1,150 deaths. The National Meteorological Office reported that floods continued to be reported at different points in the Dominican Republic at night.

Florida, which posted a new 24-hour death toll from the coronavirus on Thursday (253) for a total of 6,586, is preparing to welcome Isaiah. “This is the time for everyone to start the preparations in their homes and businesses”, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez said at a press conference.

“If you live in a tidal zone, you must have an evacuation plan,” recommended, although there are no eviction plans yet.

Niñoas walk in the rain this Thursday in Santo Domingo, after the passage of Isaías (EFE / Orlando Barr)
Niñoas walk in the rain this Thursday in Santo Domingo, after the passage of Isaías (EFE / Orlando Barr)

The coastal areas of Miami-Dade County remain under tropical storm watch, although the latest projections anticipate that they could be left out of the hurricane’s path. Instead, all Palm Beach County population centers remain on the west side of the forecast path, and a northeast portion of Broward (Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, and the Fort Lauderdale coast) also remains at the western end of the cone.

According to the last notice, South Florida could see five to ten inches of rain from Friday night through Monday, with the possibility of maximum isolated totals of 15 centimeters. Although there was still uncertainty, the likelihood of South Florida experiencing hurricane conditions was “fairly low,” the National Weather Service said Thursday afternoon.

Tropical storms Arthur and Bertha have already formed this year, both before the official start of the cyclone season, which begins on June 1 and ends on November 30. Then followed Cristóbal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo and HannaThe latter is the first hurricane this year in the Atlantic, which made landfall in Texas on Saturday, July 25.

With information from AFP

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