More than 3,85,000 residents were ordered to evacuate in Texas and another 2,00,000 in Louisiana, as Hurricane Laura hurls towards the US coasts. This is the fourth hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and is expected to intensify over the Gulf of Mexico.
Likely to strike Texas and Louisiana coasts on Thursday, over half a million residents of Texas and Louisiana coasts have been asked to evacuate amidst the coronavirus pandemic, as a precautionary measure. Speculating that the mass evacuation may harbor the potential of spread COVID-19 virus, officials have recommended citizens to stay with relatives or check themselves into hotel rooms. Buses have been stocked with protective equipment and disinfectant, reports said.
Forecasters, on Tuesday night, expected the storm to increase in strength by 33 percent, from 90 mph (144 kph) to 120 mph (193 kph) in just 24 hours. They project Laura to strike the coast as a major Category 3 hurricane. The strengthening may slow or stop just before landfall, forecasters said.
Louisiana Gov John Bel Edwards said Laura is shaping up to look a lot like Hurricane Rita did 15 years ago when it ransacked southwest Louisiana, leaving it in ruins. “We’re going to have significant flooding in places that don’t normally see it,” he said.
In what is postulated to be a distressing calamity, the ocean water is expected to push onto land along more than 450 miles (724 kilometers) of the coast from Texas to Mississippi. To ensure that the damage is mitigated, hurricane warnings were issued from San Luis Pass, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, and storm surge warnings from Port Arthur, Texas, flood protection system to the mouth of the Mississippi River.
“Officials are bracing themselves for a possibility of the evacuations getting even bigger if the storm’s track veers to the east or west,” said Craig Fugate, the former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The Category 4 hurricane has undergone remarkable intensification, and there are no signs it will stop soon, claimed the National Hurricane Center, earlier this morning. Satellite images show that Laura has become “a formidable hurricane” in recent hours, threatening to smash homes and sink entire communities. After Tropical Storm Marco fizzled in the Gulf Coast on Monday night, Laura is poised to deliver a devastating blow late Wednesday and early Thursday.