Hurricane Irma strengthened to a Category 4 storm Monday, moving west in the Atlantic Ocean and prompting emergency declarations in Florida and Puerto Rico.
This occurred as the destructive Hurricane Harvey still rages.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in all 67 counties in his state.
“In Florida, we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best, and while the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared,” Scott said in a statement Monday evening.
“This state of emergency allows our emergency management officials to act swiftly in the best interest of Floridians without the burden of bureaucracy or red tape.”
Hurricane Irma, which is forecast to strengthen on Tuesday night, is set to slam into Puerto Rico on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center, said.
“Despite the economic challenges Puerto Rico is facing, the approved budget has 15 million dollars for the emergency fund,” Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló said.
Rosselló added that the territory of some 3.4 million people has readied 456 emergency shelters, which are ready to house around 62,100 people.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in the state of Texas a week ago and has been blamed for about 50 deaths.
43,000 people are currently housed in shelters while 156,000 homes were reportedly affected.