Hurricane Wilma is edging towards the Yucatan Channel and the Gulf of Mexico on its way towards Florida. There will be a big sigh of relief when the storm leaves Mexico. The country has endured relentless wind and rain as the monster hurricane moved slowly across the Yucatan peninsula, killing at least three people. One woman said: “We have a place to sleep but no food, and I have a baby that I need milk for.”
Wilma has lost some of its punch but with winds of up to 195 kilometres an hour it is still a force to be reckoned with. In Cuba, around 370,000 people have been ordered out of the hurricane’s path as it hits western parts of the country with heavy rain and powerful winds. Wilma is forecast to strike Florida’s south-western coast on Monday as a strong category 2 or perhaps a category 3 storm.
An evacuation order has been issued for the Florida Keys. “We survived Ivan last year and that was a category four so we should be alright for this one. But who knows, it still hasn’t crossed the Gulf,” one resident said. The worry is that warm waters in the Gulf could strengthen Wilma, as they did with Hurricane Katrina that devastated the southern US coast this summer. Meanwhile yet another tropical storm – Alpha – is forming in the Caribbean.