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Millions braced as Hurricane Florence looms

China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-12 07:45

RALEIGH, North Carolina - With mandatory evacuations already issued for parts of three East Coast states, millions of US citizens are preparing for what could become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes to hit the Eastern Seaboard in more than 60 years.

Carrying winds of up to 220 km/h as a Category 4 storm, Hurricane Florence is expected to strengthen and become a Category 5 storm on Tuesday. It's then forecast to close in on North or South Carolina on Thursday, hitting a stretch of coastline that's vulnerable to rising sea levels due to climate change.

"This is one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in many years," US President Donald Trump warned on Twitter. "Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!"

South Carolina's governor ordered the state's entire coastline to be evacuated starting at noon on Tuesday and predicted that 1 million people would flee. And Virginia's governor ordered a mandatory evacuation for some residents of low-lying coastal areas, while some coastal counties in North Carolina have done the same.

For many people, the challenge could be finding a safe refuge: If Florence slows to a crawl just off the coast, it could bring torrential rains to the Appalachian Mountains and as far away as West Virginia, causing flash floods, mudslides and other dangerous conditions.

The storm's potential path also includes half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal-ash and other industrial waste, and numerous hog farms that store animal waste in massive open-air lagoons.

Ap - Reuters - Afp

Millions braced as Hurricane Florence looms

(China Daily 09/12/2018 page12)

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