US News Hurricane Isaias threatens the Bahamas before Florida, already struggling with the coronavirus
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L ' Category 1 hurricane Isaias was heading for the Bahamas on Friday, where it could strengthen before hitting Florida on Saturday and Sunday, as the southeastern state of the United States is already grappling with a sharp upsurge in coronavirus epidemic.
Isaias went, during the night of Thursday to Friday, from the status of tropical storm to that of hurricane with winds blowing at a maximum speed of 120 kilometers per hour, according to the latest bulletin from the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) at 11:00 a.m. local (3:00 p.m. GMT).
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The hurricane could "strengthen today and tonight, and Isaias is expected to remain a hurricane for the next few days," the NHC said.
The central Bahamas should be hit hard by this meteorological phenomenon on Friday night, while the northeast of the Bahamas and the eastern Florida peninsula, on part of which a "hurricane vigilance" warning has been issued , should be affected Saturday and Sunday.
The Bahamas had already been devastated in September 2019 by category 5 hurricane Dorian which had at least 70 dead, hundreds missing and billions of dollars in property damage.
"Isaias could bring heavy rains to southern and eastern Florida from Friday. It could cause sudden isolated floods and flooding in cities," the Florida Emergency Management Department warned.
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During his passage in the Dominican Republic, Isaias has already done one died and caused river flooding while 14 of the country's 32 provinces had been placed on red alert.
Roads submerged by mud, torn high-voltage lines, decapitated trees and vegetation, flooded houses ... Isaias also caused a lot of damage in Puerto Rico on Friday.
- Catastrophe Scenario -
In order to prepare for the worst, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis urged his people to be ready and stockpile food for "at least seven days."
The elected official also declared Friday a state of emergency for the counties of the east coast of the state, from Miami-Dade to Nassau.
"The situation is constantly evolving and can change quickly," he warned at a press conference.
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The arrival of a hurricane when Florida has become one of the epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States is a real disaster scenario for this state, whose hospitals are already overwhelmed.
"The Covid is serious. A hurricane is serious. If we combine them, the result is worse than the sum of the two. (...) This will have a multiplier effect, not cumulative", had assured the former head of the services Emergency Management Officer Bryan Koon in April.
President Donald Trump visits the Sunshine State on Friday, which recorded a record 24-hour death toll for the fourth day in a row.
Florida deplored 257 deaths in one day on Friday, thus surpassing the results of the previous days (253 deaths Thursday, 216 Wednesday, 186 Tuesday).
The total number of victims in Florida since the start of the pandemic stands at 6,843.
This state also has more than 470,000 cases detected since the start of the pandemic, overtaking New York - long the epicenter of the American epidemic in the spring. It is second behind California, whose population is twice that of Florida.
The south-eastern state has however started to close Covid-19 testing centers, often tents, in anticipation of the hurricane.
"These are temporary structures that cannot withstand the winds of a tropical storm," the Florida Emergency Management Department explained.
The fewer counties testing centers will remain open.
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Storm Isaias moved up the American east coast, New York on the alert .
© Provided by Le Point Tropical storm Isaias moved up the American Atlantic coast on Tuesday, causing power cuts for hundreds of thousands of people and forcing New York authorities to take precautions against possible flooding. At 11:00 a.m. local time (3:00 p.m. GMT), Isaias was in eastern Maryland, with winds of up to 110 km / h, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC). The depression was moving quickly.