CBS Local — After Hurricane Harvey brought devastating floods to Texas, the new information about Irma is probably the last thing Americans living in hurricane alley want to hear. The powerful storm heading towards Florida is so strong that it’s been picked up by machines built to detect earthquakes.
The Category 5 hurricane is reportedly generating winds powerful enough to disturb the earth at depths usually caused by seismic events. Irma reached the maximum storm level on Sept. 5 with winds surpassing 180 mph.
“What we’re seeing in the seismogram are low-pitched hums that gradually become stronger as the hurricane gets closer to the seismometer,” said seismologist Stephen Hicks. “We saw this for Hurricane Harvey on seismometers located close to Houston,” he added.
The British researcher at the University of Southampton noted that the storms are not causing actual earthquakes; they are vibrating the ground under them as they make landfall.
With Irma likely to impact Florida, Gov. Rick Scott is urging everyone in his state to prepare ahead of time.
“Get prepared. Learn your evacuation zone. Listen to your locals… You have to take this storm seriously,” Gov. Scott said. The governor has reportedly requested a “pre-landfall” state of emergency be declared in Florida by the White House.
According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Irma is already the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic basin in their records.