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Hurricane Ida hits the US coast hard and threatens New Orleans

Miami, Aug 29 (.) .- Hurricane Ida, one of the most powerful in history to reach the United States, hit this Sunday with the full force of its 150-mile-per-hour (240 km / h) winds. the Louisiana coast, on edge over the fear that New Orleans could relive the devastation caused just 16 years ago by Cyclone Katrina. New Orleans, which is on the northeast side of the trajectory pattern, the most dangerous due to the force of its winds and rains, is already suffering from the onslaught of Ida, which, according to the National Weather Service (NWS, in English), can cause a “catastrophic” storm surge, “extreme” winds, flooding and flash floods throughout the region. The biggest concern is the levees that protect the city from Lake Pontchartrain, which in 2005 broke, flooded the city and killed more than 1,800 people, and which current Governor John Bel Edwards said will have to pass a “test very serious “with this category 4 hurricane.” IMMINENT DANGER “Orlando Bermúdez, a meteorologist for the NWS, explained this Sunday to the press in a teleconference that if the forecasts are met that the storm surge exceeds 16 feet in height (4, 8 meters) above sea level, the water will surely overcome the dikes. To this “very critical” situation should be added the forecasts of heavy rains that could leave a total of up to 24 inches (60 centimeters) of rainwater in southeastern Louisiana and the extreme south of the state of Mississippi until Monday, in what he described as “imminent danger”. The mayor of the city, LaToya Cantrell, who on Friday had ordered mandatory evacuation of people living outside the levee system, said this Sunday at the last press conference before the arrival of the worst of Ida that the only way to to overcome the trance is to be united. “We are going to go through this together,” he said at an appearance in which the main message was that the people of the city must seek shelter immediately and that the multi-million dollar investment made in the levee system since 2005 will save the city this time. , despite the fact that Ida is much more powerful than Katrina was (category 3). Hurricane force winds from Ida extend up to 50 miles (80 km) from its center and the eye of the cyclone is anticipated to pass only about 30 (50 km) miles west of New Orleans. The city already has the outer bands of the hurricane, which made landfall at 11.55 local time (16.66 GMT) near Port Fourchon, through which about 18% of the national oil supply of the United States passes, according to data from the Chamber. of local Commerce. According to the latest available data, Ida is traveling at 13 miles per hour (20 km / h) and is moving in a northwesterly direction, which would take the center of the hurricane to pass in the next few hours above or very close to the city of Baton Rouge, capital and second most populous city in the state, behind New Orleans, with about 220,000 inhabitants. HISTORICAL HURRICANE Radar and reconnaissance aircraft data indicate that Ida’s maximum sustained winds at landfall were estimated at 150 mph (240 km / h), according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). In this way, it equaled Laura, who made landfall almost a year ago, on August 27, 2020, very close to where Ida did this Sunday, and cyclone Last Island, of 1856, as the strongest hurricanes recorded in the state of Louisiana. The last estimated minimum central pressure before Ida made landfall was 930 millibars, making Ida also one of the most intense hurricanes in history to reach the United States, according to data from the National Office of Oceanic Administration and Atmospheric (NOAA). The possible consequences of Ida that have been drawn by national and local authorities are devastating and no wonder, since it was at 7 miles per hour (11 km / h) to reach the maximum category on the Saffir-Simpson scale (5), which measure hurricanes by the strength of their winds. Still, according to the NHC, homes that experience a Category 4 hurricane can easily lose their roof and exterior walls, most trees are snapped or uprooted, and most of the area may be “uninhabitable for weeks or months. “. Against this background, the governors of Louisiana and Mississippi asked the federal government for an emergency declaration, and the president, Joe Biden, granted it in order to expedite the delivery of material, personnel and funds to face the possible consequences of Ida. More than 2,400 personnel from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have already been deployed to the region, in addition to 12 search and rescue teams and a hundred ambulances. (c) . Agency

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