US state declares emergency ahead of hurricane Irma

Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in the US state as a rapidly growing Category 4 hurricane named Irma wass expected to make landfall later this week, the media reported.

“Hurricane Irma poses a severe threat to the entire State of Florida and requires that timely precautions are taken to protect the communities, critical infrastructure, and general welfare of this State,” the executive order by the governor on Monday night said.

The state of emergency was issued for all of Florida’s 67 counties, reports Fox News.

Scott said that the state would “prepare for the worst and hope for the best” as Irma is expected to make landfall on Friday.

He urged “all Floridians to remain vigilant and stay alert to local weather and news and visit today to get prepared”.

The Category 4 storm was moving west-southwest at 13 mph with maximum sustained winds up to 130 mph, according to the US Hurricane Centre. The storm was centered about 490 miles east of the Leeward Islands.

The announcement came after Puerto Rico’s governor issued a state of emergency earlier on Monday, Fox News reported.

Irma is expected to make landfall in the northwest Caribbean on Tuesday.

Emergency officials have warned that the storm could dump up to 10 inches of rain, unleash landslides and dangerous flash floods and generate waves of up to 23 feet as the storm draws closer.

If Irma makes landfall as a Category 4, it would be the first time in 102 years that two such hurricanes have hit the US in the same year within a span of two weeks.

A hurricane watch was in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, the British and US Virgin islands and Guadeloupe. A tropical storm watch was issued for Dominica.

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