International desk- The United States has warned its citizens to prepare for the Hurricane Florence, which is gathering power as it approached the Carolinas, media reports say.
President Donald Trump has issued a series of warnings. He tweeted that this was “one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in many years”.
Florence is at present a Category Four storm, with sustained winds of about 140mph (220km/h), according to a BBC report.
On its current track it is predicted to make landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina, late on Thursday.
A number of mandatory evacuations have been ordered in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, affecting more than a million people.
South Carolina’s Governor Henry McMaster has given the entire coastline until noon on Tuesday to leave.
The University of North Carolina at Wilmington has also ordered a mandatory evacuation of students.
In its latest advisory at 23:00 eastern time (0300 GMT). the National Hurricane Center said of Florence: “Some strengthening is expected during the next 36 hours, and Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday.”
It said hurricane-force winds would “extend outward up to 40 miles (65km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds [would] extend outward up to 150 miles (240km)”.
The 23:00 report placed Florence about 465 miles south-east of Bermuda, moving west-north-west at about 13mph.
This would see it pass between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday and make landfall on the North Carolina coast at about 22:00 local time on Thursday.
The chief meteorologist for WCBD-TV in South Carolina, Rob Fowler, told the BBC that Florence was a large storm and getting bigger, and those even 100 miles away would feel the impact, according to BBC.