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Hurricane Dorian Taking Aim at Florida, Continues to Impact Travel

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After strengthening from a tropical storm into a Category 1 hurricane, forecasters believe Dorian is heading toward landfall in Florida during the Labor Day weekend as it continues to impact travel.

According to Weather.com, the National Hurricane Center said Dorian is packing maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour and moving 13 miles per hour as it rolls into the warmer open waters southeast of the Bahamas.

As the storm system continues moving northwest toward the United States, it is expected to strengthen into a Category 3 hurricane due to the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream. Some forecasters even believe Dorian could reach Category 4 before hitting the Southeast Sunday into Monday morning.

Fox 35 Orlando meteorologist Glenn Richards said Dorian could be “the strongest hurricane to hit Central Florida in over 30 years.” As a result, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency and urged residents on the state’s east coast to “have seven days of supplies, prepare their homes and follow the track closely.”

As for the hurricane’s impact on travel, airlines serving airports in the Caribbean and Florida are issuing travel advisories, waiving change fees and offering refunds for canceled flights.

American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have expanded their advisories to include airports in the Bahamas, while Southwest is now waiving change fees for customers flying to or from Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach Saturday through Wednesday.

For travelers scheduled to sail through the Caribbean in the coming days, Cruise Critic revealed that Carnival Cruise Line has been forced to alter itineraries for four of its scheduled sailings.

In addition, Royal Caribbean has made modifications to the scheduled stops for seven ships and Disney Cruise Line has rerouted only one vessel, but is monitoring the storm for weekend sailings.

On Wednesday, the storm system brought heavy rain to Puerto Rico and parts of the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, but Dorian did not make a direct hit on the islands as many had feared.

This is a developing story. TravelPulse will update throughout the weekend as the Hurricane continues to impact travel.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source |

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WHO Says Coronavirus Risk ‘Very High’ Globally

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has increased its risk assessment of the coronavirus to “very high” at a global level.

According to BBC.com, WHO’s health emergencies program executive director Dr. Mike Ryan said the agency is not trying to scare people by issuing the highest level of risk assessment in terms of spread and impact.

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“This is a reality check for every government on the planet: Wake up! Get ready!” Ryan said in a statement. “This virus may be on its way and you need to be ready. You have a duty to your citizens; you have a duty to the world to be ready.”

The WHO is calling on governments around the world to take the coronavirus outbreak seriously and work hard to contain it within their borders and avoid “the worst of it.”

In addition to the confirmed cases in China, where the viral outbreak originated, at least 4,351 cases have been reported and confirmed across at least 48 countries, including 67 deaths as of Friday.

The WHO said Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Netherlands and Nigeria all reported their first confirmed cases Thursday, which were all connected to the outbreak in Italy. Officials said most cases of the viral infection have been traced to known contacts or clusters of cases.

The organization also recently revealed the number of new coronavirus cases outside China now exceeds those inside the country for the first time. WHO officials said countries must act “swiftly” and “aggressively” to contain the virus.

Earlier this week, the longest-serving member of the International Olympic Committee said the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo in July could be canceled if the coronavirus outbreak shows no sign of dissipating.

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