Hurricane Hanna lashes Texas as US state faces coronavirus disaster

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Hurricane Hanna has pummelled the southern coast of Texas within the United States in a single day with howling winds and a surging sea that threatens a broad space already contending with a spike in coronavirus instances.

Hanna, the primary hurricane within the 2020 Atlantic storm season, has pressured authorities to rearrange shelters and evacuation for individuals whereas additionally sustaining bodily distancing protocols and different pandemic restrictions.

By dusk on Saturday, Hanna’s blistering winds had been ripping up the Texas coast near Corpus Christi.

A storm surge was anticipated to hit a 482-km (300-mile) stretch of shoreline, from the city of Sargent within the north to Port Mansfield within the south, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) mentioned.

The NHC forecast that Hanna would lose steam because it moved inland throughout Texas and northeastern Mexico in a single day into Sunday.

But the storm may dump upward of 18 inches of rain within the space via Monday. That may trigger life-threatening flash floods, whereas the storm may spawn tornadoes on the coastal plains.

Hanna, a Category 1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, got here ashore on Padre Island on Saturday afternoon and later made a second landfall in Eastern Kennedy County, Texas.

‘Complicated problem’

“Any hurricane is an enormous challenge,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott mentioned throughout a Saturday briefing. “This challenge is complicated and made even more severe, seeing that it’s sweeping through an area that is the most-challenged area in the state for COVID-19.”

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Abbott issued a catastrophe declaration for 32 counties in Texas which can be within the storm’s path.

On Saturday afternoon, the storm was about 121km (75 miles) south of town of Corpus Christi, packing most sustained winds of 138km (85 miles) an hour, the NHC mentioned.

“The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline,” the Miami-based NHC mentioned.

The storm isn’t anticipated to have an effect on offshore oil and gasoline manufacturing. Energy firms haven’t evacuated staff or shut down manufacturing from their Gulf of Mexico platforms.

Coronavirus instances soar

The Texas space struck by Hanna has struggled to comprise outbreaks of COVID-19 in current weeks.

Cases alongside the state’s coast have soared into the tens of 1000’s, and greater than 400 individuals in Corpus Christi, a metropolis of 325,000 individuals, had been hospitalised with the novel coronavirus on Friday, in response to metropolis information.

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Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb warned residents who dwell in flood-prone areas to heed coronavirus precautions when deciding to evacuate.

“Take several masks with you because you might be there a couple days if you’re in a flood area,” McComb mentioned, in response to the Tribune.

“We don’t want to expose anyone during this storm. … Even when you’re in the house, I recommend wearing a mask if you’re in crowded conditions.”

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and information businesses