The Bahamas were preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Dorian, whose authorities fear he will be deadly. It has indeed strengthened Friday in category 4 on a scale of 5, with winds reaching 215 km / h, continuing its progression over the Atlantic to Florida.
Dorian, still on Friday night's 645-kilometer distance from northwestern Bahamas, according to the latest bulletin issued by the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), is set to hit this great Caribbean tourist destination on Sunday.
Regional Weather Services warned residents to prepare for "catastrophic damage". "We were told it would be a storm, but now we realize it may be a little bit worse," Lucy Worboys, who lives in Nassau, the capital of the archipelago, told AFP.
The return of her children, she explains, was postponed from Monday to Wednesday, possibly Thursday. "The tide is incredibly high now so people are afraid of rising sea levels, as the Bahamas are very flat," she added.
The climate phenomenon, threatening to become an "absolute monster" in the words of US President Donald Trump, must still gain power and "remain a hurricane extremely dangerous" when approaching the coast of Florida, a priori late afternoon Monday, says the American NHC.
Trump on Thursday canceled his trip to Poland this weekend to make sure in person that "all means of the federal state are focused on the storm that happens."
"Get ready, ready to face an event that could last several days," Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis warned on Friday.
"If you are in an evacuation zone and you are ordered to evacuate, please do so, place your safety before the rest: it is better to evacuate and not finish the victim, rather than stay and put your life in danger, "he added.
"Winter White House" on the road
Florida, consisting mainly of a peninsula in the southeastern United States, is on the front line every year during the hurricane season. With a very flat relief, the coastline is particularly threatened by rising water. The center of the land is also characterized by low altitudes. For the inhabitants, the main threat is therefore floods.
Some started evacuating to areas deemed safer, but the majority of them were waiting, Dorian tending to change course and moving at 17 km / h.
The latest projections saw him reach the eastern coast of Florida at the seaside resort of West Palm Beach, which Dorian was Friday distant about 900 km. This is where Mr. Trump owns his famous Mar-a-Lago Golf Club, which he calls his "Winter White House".
This geographic proximity provided the former Prime Minister of Canada the opportunity for a spike to the Republican billionaire. "I'm dreaming of a frontal (hurricane) strike against Mar-a-Lago," Kim Campbell said, recalling that Trump denied climate change.
"Mar-a-lago can handle itself, it's a very powerful place, and what worries me is the state of Florida," he said Friday evening before leaving for Camp David.
On site, residents were instructed to store water, food and possible health treatments to keep at least a week.
The state of emergency has been declared in Florida and in a dozen counties in the state of Georgia. This measure makes it possible to better mobilize the public services of the State and to resort if necessary to the federal aid.
"Georgia is also on the way and Georgia could be affected," Trump said.
According to a relief coordinator, 12,000 soldiers are currently in Florida pending the arrival of Dorian.