Death Toll from Hurricane Michael Rises to at Least Five

Hurricane Michael is expected to make landfall Wednesday on the Florida Panhandle

Hurricane Michael is expected to make landfall Wednesday on the Florida Panhandle

The storm has sustained winds of 130mph (210km/h) and is due to make landfall at about midday (16:00 GMT).

At least 13 people reportedly died in Central America over the weekend as a result of storm rains and floods.

What are the latest developments?

Now ranked as a Category 1 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson wind scale, Michael could grow into a Category 3, becoming the second major hurricane in the Atlantic basin this year following Florence last month, forecasters said.

The National Weather Service is now warning that Michael is a "potentially catastrophic" weather event, which could result in "the strongest hurricane to landfall" upon Florida's Panhandle in over a decade. That's about 20 miles southeast of Panama City, where dozens of utility poles were snapped and parking lots glistened with broken glass.

Michael is now moving northwards at 12mph.

A category two hurricane is one that has wind speeds of between 96 to 110 miles per hour and is described as having "extremely risky winds" which "will cause extensive damage" according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Winds scale.

Gov. Rick Scott warned Monday, "This is a massive storm.we've never seen anything like it in the Panhandle".

Despite the warnings, local officials believe a far smaller number of people have in fact moved away.

About 3,500 Florida National Guard troops were deployed, along with more than 1,000 search-and-rescue personnel, Governor Scott said. It then roared north through southwest Georgia and on Thursday moved into North and SC, states that are still reeling from historic flooding left by Hurricane Florence last month.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told residents: "I know people are tired from Florence, but don't let this storm catch you with your guard down".

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED Extreme Wind Warning National Weather Service Tallahassee FL 1111 AM EDT WED OCT 10 2018The National Weather Service in Tallahassee has issued a* Extreme Wind Warning for.

Michael could also have lingering impact on agriculture in state, officials warned.

Tues. 5:25 pm: Fast-moving Hurricane Michael menaces Florida Panhandle
Michael is now centered over SC and is still a tropical storm after a long land journey over the southeastern United States. Damage in Panama City was extensive, with broken and uprooted trees and power lines down almost everywhere.

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"We are used to hurricanes in the Bahamas so we take them very seriously".

Adrian Mahangos hopes he is one of the lucky ones.

Describing his experience with the storm, Mr Johnson said: "I went to bed and I was (awoken) by the announcement over our PA system at about 8.30am saying the storm had shifted and we were no longer on lockdown".

"I haven't made up my mind yet, but I know some of my staff are going", said Dave Trepanier, owner of Firefly, a restaurant a block from the beach in Panama City, Bay County, an area where the hurricane is expected to come ashore.

A man in the distance is gathering sand from the beach while it's still light and pouring it into trash bags - making do with what's at hand to protect from the water.

Sheriff A.J. Smith in Franklin County, near the coast, sent his deputies door to door Tuesday urging people to evacuate, saying they did everything they could to get the word out.

Scattered thunderstorms and heavy downpours have already started in Florida's coastal communities from Bradenton to Tarpon Springs.

Those that remain will be facing a frightening ordeal.

Where has Michael hit and where is it now?

.

Images on social media showed evacuating families wading through water to get to safety.

However, Cuba was still greatly impacted by the storm, as torrential rain and strong winds affected the Caribbean Island.

Energy companies halted almost a fifth of Gulf of Mexico oil production and evacuated personnel from 10 platforms on Monday.

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