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Asunto:[CeHuNews] 75/05 - Wilma is sweeping over Florida
Fecha:Lunes, 24 de Octubre, 2005  13:16:41 (-0300)
Autor:Centro Humboldt <humboldt>

CeHuNews 75/05

Hurricane sweeps across Florida

Hurricane Wilma is sweeping over Florida, bringing storm surges, up to 25cm of rain and leaving hundreds of thousands without power.

Wilma made landfall near Naples as a Category Three storm with winds of 125mph (200km/h) and is now moving to the Atlantic coast as a Category Two.

Governor Jeb Bush urged people not go out till the storm had passed.
At least 17 people across the Caribbean have died as a result of the hurricane - once the strongest on record.
Havana in Cuba has been flooded, while police in Mexico are trying to control looting in the wake of Wilma's visit.
After making landfall in Florida at about 0630 (1030 GMT), the storm moved north-east over Everglades City.

Wilma is now moving at 25mph and is expected to reach the Atlantic off Palm Beach County shortly. It is then expected to head north up the coast.

The eye of the storm is estimated to be 60 miles (96km) wide.

In Florida, Governor Bush told residents: "Please don't go outside until the storm has completely passed because the west side of the storm will be as strong and intense or maybe even worse."

Florida Power and Light said 1.6m customers had lost electricity and it had shut three nuclear power stations.

Jaime Sarbaugh, an emergency management worker close to where Wilma made landfall, said: "The rain is coming down sideways. We've had a handful of tornadoes."

The BBC's Oliver Conway in Fort Myers, Florida, said the windows of his hotel had blown in and he had been told to evacuate.

"The wind was so fierce it was almost knocking people over. The trees are wobbling, the leaves are pushed back all in one direction and even lamps are shaking with the ferocity of this wind," he said.

About 80% of the 80,000 residents of the low-lying Florida Keys are thought to have ignored repeated evacuation orders.


Wilma, at one point the most intense hurricane on record in the Atlantic, forced 600,000 Cubans from coastal areas, where several villages were flooded by big storm surges.

Cuba's capital, Havana, has also been hit by large waves, with water up to one metre high penetrating four blocks into the city from the coast and flooding basement apartments.

Rescue teams in inflatable rafts pulled hundreds of people from flooded homes.

Wilma finally left Mexico's Gulf coast on Sunday after pounding the Yucatan peninsula, killing at least six people and destroying hotels and thousands of homes.

Police in the Mexican resort of Cancun have fired shots to try to control hundreds of looters taking goods from damaged shops.

Floods and high winds have forced tens of thousands of people, including many foreign tourists, to remain in emergency shelters for a third day.

The army and navy are planning to drop them aid supplies.

Haiti and the Dominican Republic were earlier drenched by torrential rains brought by Tropical Storm Alpha, now downgraded to a tropical depression.

Forecasters warn Alpha, whose formation made this year's Atlantic hurricane season the most active since 1933, could strengthen again.

It is the first time the NHC has had to resort to the Greek alphabet to name a storm, after all 21 names pre-assigned for storms this year were used up.

The hurricane season still has five weeks to run.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/10/24 15:03:23 GMT