Orlando, Florida - When the first rays of the sun bathe the Florida peninsula, hundreds of thousands of citizens will join the endless caravan of cars that already run from south to north, heading for shelters or houses and hotels in the north, perhaps to another state, looking for somewhere far away from the intimidating force of Hurricane Irma.
And although authorities can’t estomate of the final number of evacuees yet, the informationt already disclosedis impressive.
For example, yesterday morning, the Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, announced that he had issued a mandatory eviction order for 100,000 people in Bravart County, which borders the Atlantic and is on the east of Orlando.
The figure keeps increasing as the hurricane approaches the south of the United States.
Within his prerogative as Governor and in order to safeguard the life and safety of the residents, Scott can order the mandatory evacuation of people living in places at risk.
And he did so for parts of Miami Dade County, where 2.6 million people live.
He also gave the same order to tourists, visitors, residents and nonresidents who spent the night in the Florida Keys area, which belongs to Monroe County.
The Keys have a population of 68,697, according to census information. While in Monroe County there are 77,482 inhabitants.
Althoug the order of evacuation is not for the entire population of the county, the figures are dramatic, said to El Nuevo Día, Victor Torres, senator from Florida's 15th District.
"Perhaps after what happened in Houston, here in Florida people are responding to the call for evacuation of the authorities. They are moving north, to safer places, but the truth is that this hurricane is bigger than Florida," said the legislator.
The government of Florida has already asked residents in Broward and Collier counties to voluntarily consider moving to safe places. 1.8 million and 357,305 people, respectively live in those counties. Scott also advised those living in Glades and Hendry counties to consider evacuating the area. In Glades there are about 13,700 people and in Hendry, just over 39,000.
"There are hundreds of thousands and traffic will collapse despite the measures seeking to alleviate it, such as allowing only traffic from south to north in highways and having gasoline supply servicesavailable for those who do not have fuel. And for those places where evacuation is mandatory and people refuse to leave, the police could force them to, but I have not seen that yet," explained Torres.
Topography is decisive
It is not a legend that the orography of a country, that is to say, the elevations of the surface of the land, can have an effect in an atmospheric phenomenon like Irma, pointed out Rafael MéndezTejeda, professor of atmospheric sciences of the University of Puerto Rico.
Neither is it myths that in Puerto Rico El Yunque and the mountains “drive away" cyclones.
But on flat land such as Florida, a hurricane could advance as it has no natural obstructions, the meteorologist explained.
However, whatever the geography is, once a meteor strikes land and stops being in contact with the source that provides its energy -the sea- it begins to lose force.
"If it is not in contact with the sea, it is like a fish you take out of the water... it will weaken," he noted.
"What happens is that Florida is quite flat and has many wetlands and the hurricane could penetrate deep inside it and even cross the peninsula from one side to another," said the geologist Mario Soriano. "The impact could be disastrous because there has been much development and many topographical alterations," he added.
Méndez Tejeda said that some models placeHurricane Irma moving east, which could be good news for this state. "If it goes further east, it would be favorable because the impact would be similar to the tropical storm effects," concluded the professor.
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