Located 150 kilometers south of the westernmost part of Cuba, the storm moves with maximum sustained winds of 100 km/h, according to the most recent report from the US National Hurricane Center (NHC). Idalia is expected to evolve into a hurricane during the course of Monday, according to forecasts by the NHC, which has issued an alert for the Cuban province of Pinar del Río.
The storm is moving north at a speed of approximately 13 km/h and is expected to pick up speed over the next several hours until it reaches the west coast of Florida, in the southeastern United States, on Wednesday. At that point, it is projected to have reached Category 3 on the hurricane scale, with maximum sustained winds ranging between 178 and 208 km/h, according to the NHC.
Faced with the threat posed by Idalia, Ron DeSantis, Florida’s governor and US presidential hopeful, has declared a state of emergency in 46 counties and has announced evacuations in parts of West Florida. In a press conference, DeSantis emphasized the severity of the hurricane and urged the population to follow the instructions of local authorities to prevent risks. He warned of the hurricane’s deadly potential, stressing that facing nature in this situation could be dangerous and cost lives and livelihoods.
Southwest Florida recently faced the devastation caused by Category 5 Hurricane Ian in September of last year, which resulted in the loss of nearly 150 lives and significant property damage.