Hurricane Elsa intensifies as it approaches

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Tropical Storm Elsa intensified Tuesday night to become a Category 1 hurricane as it approached the coast of Florida, according to the U.S. Weather Service.

The National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Elsa was advancing at a speed of 22 km / h, with strong winds of 120 km / h, noting that if the hurricane continues on its current course, it will pass above or near the west coast of Florida on Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning.

Authorities had asked residents to prepare for dangerous storms and possible power outages.

Before heading for the Gulf of Mexico, the tropical storm hit the Caribbean.

The Tampa airport had announced the suspension of commercial flights from 5 p.m. Tuesday until at least 10 a.m. Wednesday.

“We urge Florida residents to start their preparations, and that includes being able to be without power for a few days and having enough food and water for every family member,” the Florida governor said Tuesday. , Janet Nunez.

“If there are evacuation orders in your area, it is for your safety,” she added, announcing the opening of emergency shelters.

After killing three people in the Dominican Republic and Saint Lucia, Elsa struck Cuba on Monday with torrential rains but without causing major damage to the island.

Hurricane Elsa arrives in Florida less than two weeks after the disaster that hit the small town of Surfside, north of Miami, where part of a building collapsed on the night of June 24, killing at least 32 people. 113 others are still missing.

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