U.S. issues warning for Hurricane Irma

Updated 2017-09-08 15:00:36 Xinhua

The U.S. National Hurricane Center on Thursday issued a hurricane and storm surge warning for south Florida and the Florida Keys in southeastern America, two days before the expected landing of category five hurricane Irma.

The warning has been issued from Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach, as well as for the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, and Florida Bay, which was updated at 11 p.m. local time (0300 GMT).

Hurricane Irma is currently about 940 km southeast of Miami, a major port city on the Atlantic coast, and is expected to hit Florida on Saturday. The maximum sustained winds is at 270 km per hour, which has slowed down in the past 12 hours, but is still catastrophic.

Evacuation have started along the Atlantic coast. As of Thursday evening, thousands of flights departing or arriving at major airports in Irma's path have been canceled, including Miami International Airport, Ft.Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport and West Palm Beach Airports.

Highways leading north from southern Florida are also jammed with cars trying to flee from possible deadly storms or rainfall, as Florida Governor Rick Scott warned against Floridians from travelling after Friday.

Hurricane Irma is the first category five hurricane to hit the United States since 1993, and is reportedly the largest ever to form over the Atlantic Ocean.

The monstrous weather system comes on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, which devastated parts of Texas and Louisiana, causing dozens of deaths and more than 70 billion U.S. dollars in property damage.

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