The tropical storm Elsa, which is currently approaching the US state of Florida, has again been upgraded to a hurricane. The US hurricane center NHC in Miami assumed wind speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour on Tuesday (local time). Accordingly, the storm is likely to reach the west coast of Florida on Wednesday night or early morning.
“Elsa” had previously raged in the Caribbean, killing at least three people. In Florida, however, the US authorities initially assumed the situation would go smoothly. One of the main concerns was the collapse of a high-rise building in Surfside near Miami, where rescue workers continued to search for victims in the rubble. For fear of “Elsa”, the demolition work on the collapsed high-rise continued throughout the night.
The residential complex with around 130 units partially collapsed on June 24th. The cause is so far unclear. The number of deaths has now risen to 36, and another 109 people are still missing. The authorities are certain that 70 of the missing persons were in the skyscraper at the time of the accident.
According to Surfside’s Mayor Charles Burkett, the weather is already affecting the search in the rubble. “The wind hinders the big cranes that move very heavy debris,” he said. “This is a challenge they are trying to avoid right now.”
“Elsa” was recorded on Friday as the first Atlantic hurricane of this year’s season. On Saturday, the experts downgraded him to a tropical storm.
Now again with the status of a hurricane, according to NHC information, »Elsa« turned more towards the west, which would avoid Florida the eye of the storm. Originally it was feared that the storm would hit the southwest coast of the US state head-on.