Florida braces for 'extremely dangerous' Irma

A state of emergency has been declared in 67 counties in Florida by Governor Rick Scott, who stressed that residents need to "get prepared" for Hurricane Irma. The National Hurricane Center described the Category 5 storm as "extremely dangerous."

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About two weeks after Texas was hit by Hurricane Harvey, Florida residents are bracing for Hurricane Irma, which is expected to strike the southeast state on Sunday. The powerful storm has already made landfall in Barbuda, a Caribbean island. Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in 67 counties and called on Floridians to prepare for the storm's arrival: "I cannot stress this enough. Get prepared."

The National Hurricane Center has described Irma, which strengthened to Category 5 storm yesterday, as "extremely dangerous." The center added that the storm has "potentially catastrophic" strength. "This storm has the potential to devastate this state," Scott warned Florida residents during a press conference. "You have to take this seriously."

Hurricane Irma Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

"Hurricane Irma is a major and life-threatening storm and Florida must be prepared," Scott said in a statement. "I have declared a state of emergency for every county in Florida to make certain that state, federal and local governments are able to work together and make sure resources are dispersed to local communities as we get prepared for this storm. In Florida, we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best and while the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared."

Meanwhile, the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry warned Israelis who are in the Caribbean and Florida against visiting the areas in Irma's projected path. "In light of the danger due to the storm, it is recommended to comply with the local authorities on the ground in regard to everything related to evacuations, necessary supplies and shelters," the ministry said in a statement. The ministry added in the case of an emergency, the Israeli consulate in Miami can be contacted.



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