Indian-Americans in Atlanta and neighboring areas have opened up their homes for friends, families and community members from Florida as Hurricane Irma made landfalls on the southern Islands of the United States.
Till now Hurricane Irma claimed three lives. Indian American organization, Sewa carrying out relief and rescue work, provided shelter to more than 300 families.
At least four temples in Atlanta region have opened up their doors for people fleeing from Florida.
While the Indian Consulate in Atlanta was coordinating with various community groups and was in constant touch with community leaders and Indian passport holders, the Indian-American community organizations in Atlanta launched an unprecedented relief.
Irma struck the Florida Keys as it headed towards the US state's west coast where millions of people have evacuated turning many places into ghost towns.
In collaboration with other Indo-American community organizations and religious groups, they helped around 2,000 families. Like several other Hindu temples, infamous amma kitchen has announced to serve free food to those coming from Florida.
Indian-Americans have opened their unserved rooms in hotels and many changed their banquet halls into dormitories to provide shelter to victims of the hurricane Irma.
It is believed that population of the Indo-American has increased to 160,000 from 120,000 in Florida. The largest of their concentration in Miami-Fort LauraDeale area followed by Tampa and Orlando area.
“This is going to impact our whole State. You know, you’re going to get the wind and the rain on the east coast, but right now, it’s impacting the Keys. It’s going to impact my home town of Naples, Florida, all of the west coast,” Florida Governor Rick Scott told Fox News.
“What’s scary is the unbelievable storm surge potentially in my own town, 15 feet of storm surge above ground level. And we are talking about that and something with the keys.
People have asked what can we do, the first thing I tell them is to pray, pray for everybody in Florida. They can donate to disaster, text disaster at 2022,” Scott said.
US President Donald Trump, who is personally reviewing the preparations and rescue and relief operations, spoke today morning. “My concern right now is people – hopefully, everyone has evacuated. I looked at our traffic cameras around the state this morning. People are off the roads.
I just hope everybody has evacuated and gotten to safety. So, I hope everybody will pray for us,” he said. Local news reports said at least one crane collapsed in Miami, as a result of the high wind speed of Irma, which was estimated to be at least 100mph.
It’s a worst-case scenario for Florida on the west coast,” said FEMA Administrator Brock Long. Thousands of homes in Florida were reported to have a power outage.
(With PTI Inputs)