WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Ian has gained the strength of a Category 4 hurricane before its landfall in the southeastern U.S. state of Florida, the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday.
The storm, which is moving toward the north-northeast near 17 km per hour, is forecast to make landfall on the west coast of Florida as "a catastrophic hurricane," said the latest public advisory issued by the center.
Ian is expected to cause catastrophic storm surges, winds and flooding in the Florida peninsula starting later on Wednesday.
As of Wednesday morning, Ian was about 90 km west of Naples, Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 250 km per hour, the advisory read.
The center of Ian is forecast to move over central Florida on Wednesday night and Thursday morning and emerge over the western Atlantic by late Thursday, it said.
"This is a major, major storm," Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said on Wednesday morning. "This is going to be one of those historic storms."
More than 190,000 customers in Florida were without power as of Wednesday morning, according to an online tracker.