A US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite has captured breathtaking images of the eye of Hurricane Ian as the gargantuan storm makes its way towards Florida, reveals a report by The Independent.
The Twitter account for the satellite shared a tiny video clip on Wednesday afternoon that showcased the eye of the storm surrounded by dark gray clouds along with lightning flashing periodically.
At around 12:30 PM IST (3:00 AM EDT), the hurricane’s eye had grown over 57 kilometres long in diameter. It made landfall around 11:54 PM IST (2:24 PM EDT) near Cayo Costa Florida in the form of a category 4 storm with continuous winds as high as 250 kilometres per hour.
Based on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, which is a five-point scale, category 4 storms can range from 209 kilometres per hour to 250 kilometres per hour and are capable of creating ‘catastrophic’ damage, according to the NOAA website.
It states, “Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”
Streets of Florida are currently flooded, with one viral video by user @Armando Salguero allegedly revealing that sharks had flown into the flooded areas.
The hurricane is expected to proceed towards Charleston, South Carolina between Friday and Saturday, and is expected to travel upwards near Charlotte in North Carolina by Saturday 5 PM ET.
POTUS Joe Biden said in a statement from FEMA’s HQ in Washington DC, “It is still moving across the state today. This could be the deadliest hurricane in Florida’s history. The numbers are still unclear but we are hearing early reports of what may be substantial loss of life.”
“My message to people in Florida, at times like this: America comes together. We’re going to pull together as one team, as one America,” he added.