Storm Ian may intensify and turn into a high-end Category 4 storm this week.
Qatar’s embassy in Washington, DC, issued a statement advising Qataris to exercise extreme caution in the southeast United States areas where tropical ‘Storm lan’ is forecast to make landfall.
On Twitter, the embassy warned its citizens to follow instructions from local authorities and take all necessary precautions to safeguard themselves and their families in the ensuing hours.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Caribbean Storm Ian was en route to western Cuba on Sunday and is forecast to saturate the Caribbean island with rain and cause storm surges on Monday before intensifying into a hurricane.
Ian’s maximum sustained winds increased to 70 mph around 2 am ET, up from 45 mph Sunday afternoon, and it was located about 355 miles southeast of the western point of Cuba. When a storm’s top sustained winds hit 74 mph, it is classified as a hurricane.
“Life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds are expected in portions of western Cuba beginning late Monday,” the NHC said.
In regions with higher terrain, such as Jamaica and Cuba, the storm may potentially cause flash flooding, torrential rain, and even mudslides.
Ian, according to the NHC, could unleash flooding across the Florida Keys and Florida peninsula by midweek. Ahead of the storm, Florida officials advised residents to stock up on supplies of food, water, fuel, batteries and medicine.
In all 67 of the counties in the state, Governor Ron DeSantis has issued an emergency declaration.
“The path of this is still uncertain,” he said at a news conference. “The impacts will be broad throughout the state of Florida.”