Trump declares emergency in Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma

Trump declares emergencies in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as Hurricane Irma prepares for landfall.

Elad Benari ,

Hurricane Irma moves across the Atlantic Ocean
Hurricane Irma moves across the Atlantic Ocean

U.S. President Donald Trump declared emergencies in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands on Tuesday night, as Hurricane Irma prepares for landfall, reports The Associated Press.

The declarations authorize the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to co-ordinate disaster relief efforts in those places.

Irma, which is classified as a Category 5 storm, is wielding the most powerful winds ever recorded for a storm in the Atlantic Ocean. It is on a path that could take it toward Florida over the weekend, noted AP.

On Monday, Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in every county in the state in preparation for Hurricane Irma, after it had been upgraded to a Category 4 storm.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló had also declared a state of emergency ahead of the impending storm.

On Tuesday, Rosselló warned that the effects of Hurricane Irma could be catastrophic and calling the storm more dangerous than Hurricane Harvey.

“It is much more dangerous than Harvey. The results could be catastrophic and devastating,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Foreign Ministry issued a warning to Israelis in the region.

"The storm Irma has in recent hours become a category 5 hurricane and is making its way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean and the state of Florida," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"In view of the danger posed by the storm, the Foreign Ministry recommends that Israelis who are in the hurricane's path comply with the instructions of the competent authorities in the area regarding evacuation, necessary equipment and places of refuge," it continued.

The Foreign Ministry recommended that Israelis "to whatever extent possible, refrain from going to places where the storm is expected to strike, or to leave these places if there is such an option."