Foreign Office issues warning as Florida braces for Hurricane Ian

By Lisa James
Home » Foreign Office issues warning as Florida braces for Hurricane Ian

The UK Foreign Office has issued a ‘be aware’ warning to Brits in Florida, while cruise lines have announced itinerary changes, as Hurricane Ian gathers strength.

The latest hurricane hit Cuba’s south coast on Monday night and is expected to make landfall on Florida’s west coast on Wednesday.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said it expects ‘rapid strengthening’ over the next 48 hours as Hurricane Ian inches north from its current location 130 west of Cuba.

Officials say the Tampa area of Florida could receive its first direct hit from a hurricane since 1921, and may see 10ft of storm surge cause flooding along the coast.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a statewide emergency, warning Ian could increase in strength to a Category 4 hurricane.

Cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, MSC and Virgin Voyages, have made changes to current itineraries in the region, while Carnival Cruise Line is waiting to see how the storm develops.

Cruise Hive reports NCL’s Norwegian Sky has dropped calls at George Town, Grand Cayman; Roatan, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize and Cozumel, Mexico from its itinerary and is instead sailing to the Bahamas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St Thomas and Tortola.

MSC Seashore will not sail the Western Caribbean, while Virgin Voyages has cancelled a call for Scarlet Lady to Costa Maya scheduled for tomorrow, September 26.

Royal Caribbean said it is ‘closely monitoring the progression of Hurricane Ian and we are making adjustments to some of our Caribbean routes to ensure the comfort and safety of our guests and crew’.

The FCDO said: “Hurricane Ian is expected to reach the Florida coast on Wednesday 28 September.

“The US National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane warning for the Fort Myers and Tampa Bay areas of western Florida, although the entire state may be affected to differing degrees.  Strong winds and heavy rainfall are expected and there is a high risk of flooding from rain and coastal storm surges.

“You should closely monitor local and international weather updates from the US National Hurricane Center and follow the advice of local authorities and/or your tour operator including any evacuation orders.”

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