It grows on the alert throughout the East Coast of the United States for the approach of Irene, Category 3 hurricane on a scale from 1 to 5, already named by CNN Hurricane''Monster.'' The U.S. authorities predict that the phenomenon will come to touch the coast of North Carolina Saturday. It 'predicted that the storm reaches the area of New York in the late Saturday or early Sunday. In Virginia and Maryland was declared a state of emergency, were evacuated to the resorts of the Atlantic.
250 thousand people fleeing from New York
The New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has announced that it has ordered mandatory evacuations for citizens living in low-lying areas of the metropolis. The move away from the houses will be completed by tomorrow 17 am local time, while the public transport system will be stopped in the afternoon, the mayor said at a press conference. Among the areas most at risk are Coney Island, Brooklyn on the coast, parts of Staten Island, Battery Park in lower Manhattan, for a total of 250 thousand persons concerned. City authorities have also set up teams to restore power in case of blackouts. Even private citizens are preparing for emergencies, covering the windows with pieces of plywood and, in marinas, hauling in their boats.
Craig Fugate, the head of FEMA, the American Civil Protection, has proposed a scenario of extreme gravity, explaining that in some of the areas hit by Irene may have the same effect caused by Katrina, the catastrophic hurricane that hit Louisiana in 2005 causing the flooding of New Orleans half, with houses destroyed by floods. Moreover, the fear of FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security is to "blackouts that could last for days" because of disruptions caused by power lines, trees and electric poles felled by the winds.
Obama: "Preparing for the worst"
Barack Obama, in a statement released by Martha's Vineyard, said: "It 'a very dangerous storm." Irene is likely to be a "hurricane of historic proportions" and "we must be prepared for the worst," he added. The President, who anticipated the return this evening in Washington scheduled for tomorrow, has appealed to residents of the areas most threatened by the fury of the hurricane to follow closely the evolution of the situation.
The advice of the Foreign Ministry for Italians in USA
While Hurricane Irene is about to reach the eastern coast of the United States, the Foreign Ministry's crisis unit and the diplomatic-consular network in the U.S., in collaboration with the local authorities, are in close contact with the Italians who live in those areas. The Foreign Ministry advises nationals residing or passing through New York to follow carefully the instructions of the Office of Civil Protection of the city, responsible for managing the emergency, which has divided the urban area in areas subject to different levels of risk .