Watch: After lashing Cuba, Hurricane Michael threatens southern US

WION Web Team Florida, USA Oct 09, 2018, 08.47 PM(IST)

Hurricane Michael lashes Cuba and Mexico as it speeds towards Florida Photograph:( Reuters )

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The NHC has forecast at least 30 cms of rain in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

Cuba's western coast was lashed by Hurricane Michael as it made its way towards Florida while moving away from the Gulf of Mexico.

Authorities have already alerted people to evacuate from coastal areas in Florida Panhandle which is a beach resort front as wind speed picked up to 55 km per hour.

The National Hurricane Center(NHC) said the hurricane could grow into a Category 3 storm as it makes landfall in Florida Panhandle on Wednesday. The NHC has warned people living along Florida's coast to Alabama and  Suwannee River in Florida to be prepared for hurricane-like conditions.

"Life-threatening storm surge is likely along portions of the coasts of the Florida Panhandle, Big Bend and Nature Coast, and a storm surge warning is in effect for these areas," the NHC said.

The NHC has forecast at least 30 cms of rain in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

"Hurricane Michael is a monster storm and it keeps getting more dangerous. We’re 12 hours away from seeing impacts," Florida Governor Rick Scott said, adding,"the time to prepare is now."

As the hurricane made its way, oil production was hit as companies halted operations in the Gulf of Mexico which resulted in oil prices going up in the US.

"You will see damage to infrastructure, you will see power outages, and services that we are used to will be interrupted due to Hurricane Michael," Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jeff Byard said.

School and offices have been ordered to remain closed in Florida Panhandle at the end of the week when the hurricane is expected to cause destruction in the state.

After Florida, Hurricane Michael is forecast to move up the south-east United States on Wednesday and Thursday, passing through the Carolinas, which is still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month. 

President Donald Trump said the federal government was ready and urged residents to be prepared for the worst. "Can you believe it? It looks like another big one," he said.