Hurricane Ian: Two million Florida residents told to evacuate as storm wipes out Cuba’s electricity

Hurricane Ian knocked out all electricity in Cuba and barrelled toward Florida on Wednesday as 2.5 million Americans were warned to evacuate to higher ground.

The storm, described by experts as a “monster”, was expected to make landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday afternoon as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane with winds of 130mph.

Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor, warned of “catastrophic flooding”.

Mr DeSantis added: “Mother Nature is a very fearsome adversary. It is a big storm, it is going to kick up a lot of water as it comes in. This thing’s the real deal. It is a major, major storm.”

Mr DeSantis spoke with Joe Biden by phone on Tuesday night and they discussed preparations for the storm. A White House spokeswoman said the two men – potential presidential opponents in 2024 – “committed to continued close coordination” over the hurricane.

Mr Biden said Ian “could be a very severe hurricane, life threatening and devastating in its impact.”

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