Hurricane Laura has taken the lives of at least five people when the storm hit Texas and Louisiana with 150mph winds.
The storm made landfall with the strongest winds Louisiana has experienced since 1856. Around 800,000 people were left without power and residents in Louisiana have been told to stay indoors after a chemical fire started at a chlorine plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
A 14-year-old girl from Leesville tragically passed away when a tree fell on her home, said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.
Only hours later, three more deaths were reported because of falling trees, including a man in Jackson Parish and a 60-year-old in Acadia Parish.
Governor Bel Edwards wrote on Twitter: “There is a chemical fire in the Westlake/Moss Bluff/Sulphur area.
“Residents are advised to shelter in place until further notice and close your doors and windows.”
Edwards added: “If you are in the Westlake/Moss Bluff/Sulphur area, shelter in place, close your windows and doors and TURN OFF YOUR AIR CONDITIONING UNITS.
“There is a chemical fire. Stay inside and wait for additional direction from local officials.”
There were also fears that the cloud could contain deadly toxic chlorine gas.
State Fire Marshall Butch Browning said in a 1pm press conference: “What they have found is no low level detection of chlorine off site, which meant where people walk and where people gather, which is a good thing.
“The cloud, the plume, as it goes in the air and moves out there is chlorine in that obviously, but that those chemicals are falling in the lake, which is the right place for it because it dilutes the chlorine so that the offside impact, we don’t believe, is endangering anyone.”
Gov. Edwards warned the public to stay indoors until the storm is completely gone. “Now is not the time to go sightseeing. The threat #Laura poses to Louisiana is far from over,” he tweeted.
“Stay home, continue to heed warnings from local officials and monitor your local news to stay informed.”
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