Florida expects Jeanne

MIAMI (Reuters) - Several hundred thousand people living on the east coast of Florida have been told to leave their homes in anticipation of the arrival of Storm Jeanne.

The depression, which devastated Haiti last weekend, is expected on the night of Saturday to Sunday on the coast of Florida, which is preparing to suffer its fourth major storm since the start of the cyclone season.

At 03:00 GMT, the center of Storm Jeanne was located 220 kilometers east of the island of Grand Abaco, in the Bahamas, and was moving west traveling twenty kilometers per hour.

Jeanne, which became a hurricane after passing through Haiti, left nearly 1.200 dead and as many missing in this country, the poorest in America.

According to weather forecasters, Jeanne should gain power and move from second to third category on the Saffir-Simpson scale before reaching the American coast.

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Florida, where 17 million inhabitants live, is still in shock from the passage of cyclones Charley, Frances and Ivan, whose material damage is calculated in billions of dollars.

According to the National Hurricane Center, this southern US state has never experienced four such episodes in a single season since the introduction of a weather archive in 1851.

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