Irma weakens further as it moves up Florida coast

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  • Mon, 09/11/2017 - 07:51
Irma weakens further as it moves up Florida coast
  • EFE

Hurricane Irma was continuing to weaken as it headed north along the southwest coast of Florida, and could be downgraded to a tropical storm later in the day, the National Hurricane Center said early on Monday.

In its 5 am bulletin, the NHC said that Irma, currently a Category 1 storm, was generating maximum sustained winds of 120 kph (75 mph), with some gusts of higher speed.

It was located 55 kilometers (34 miles) from Cedar Key and is moving north-northwest at 30 kph.

Irma's eye is expected to move near the northwestern coast of the Florida Peninsula on Monday morning and cross the eastern Florida Panhandle into southern Georgia on Monday afternoon.

Irma is expected to move through southwestern Georgia and eastern Alabama later on Monday and into Tuesday.

The maximum sustained speeds will decrease further and the hurricane is expected to weaken to a tropical storm on Monday, becoming a tropical depression by Tuesday afternoon.

The center reduced some of the alerts and warnings issued for different parts of Florida, but warned of the danger of storm surges that could cause flooding near the coast.

In some parts, the storm surge could raise the sea level by up to 1.83 meters (72 inches).

Before making landfall in the United States as a Category 5 hurricane, Irma, passed through several islands of the Caribbean, including Cuba, leaving a trail of destruction and a death toll of at least 30.

On Sunday, the hurricane made landfall in the Florida Keys, where preliminary information indicates significant damage and possible fatalities

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