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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS
Hurricane Dennis Reaches Category Two Status; London Begins Invesitgation and Recovery
Aired July 9, 2005 - 7:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Down but definitely not out. Hurricane Dennis is a category one storm after slamming Cuba, but it is expected to strengthen and it is headed for the U.S. Gulf Coast.
From the CNN Center here in Atlanta, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING.
It's July 9.
Good morning, everybody.
I'm Betty Nguyen.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Tony Harris.
Let's get you started with the overnight headlines.
Now in the news, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is due to arrive in Beijing, China in less than two hours. It's her first stop on a four nation trip to East Asia. She's trying to find ways to get North Korea to resume multilateral nuclear disarmament talks.
In Afghanistan this morning, a Taliban spokesman claims the group has killed a missing U.S. commando. The Taliban said they captured him last month. The spokesman's claims have sometimes proven unreliable in the past. The U.S. military continues to search for him. It says there's no proof the missing soldier was captured or killed.
Investigators in London are hard at work this morning at all but one site of Thursday's terrorist bombings. They're having trouble getting into one subway tunnel because it is still unstable. The bombings on three trains and a double decker bus killed more than 50 people and wounded hundreds. We'll go live to London for the latest in just a few minutes.
NGUYEN: Hurricane Dennis is now just upgraded to a category two storm after it pummeled the Caribbean. But it is expected to gain strength as it churns over the Gulf of Mexico this morning.
Here are just a few of the images from the last 24 hours. Look at this. In Haiti, people try to cross a raging river after the storm collapsed a bridge. In Jamaica, a house is swamped by floodwater brought in by pounding rain. And in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Dennis kicked up enormous waves, some taller than the utility poles. The storm killed at least 20 people in Cuba and Haiti combined. HARRIS: And let's get the latest on Dennis now from meteorologist Rob Marciano, upstairs in the CNN Weather Center -- Rob, good morning.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Tony.
Like you said, the latest news is that it has been upgraded back to a category two status. We did see it knocked down in intensity overnight as it crossed the island of Cuba, just to the east of Havana. You see how it kind of lost its punch and now it's started to swirl up again. So, from 90 mile an hour winds, now back to 105 mile an hour winds. That makes it a decent category two storm.
It is about 95 miles west-southwest of Key West, but heading away from Key West. But I think the Keys, over the next several hours, will still be under the gun as far as seeing hurricane conditions. For example, there were sustained reports of 74 mile an hour winds at Key Marathon, or Marathon Key, and then a gust of 88, and Key West also reporting 74 mile an hour winds.
So it's very, very stormy right there.
Here is the Key West and Tampa radars. There's Key West right there. You see the radar be coming out scanning the hurricane. And there's the eye of the hurricane. It's a very cool shot. You can see that it's just under 100 miles away from Key West, but a tremendous amount of moisture and wind coming into the Keys right now, and that will continue.
What we have for the next several hours is the potential for a tornado. Just to give you an idea, the center of this thing is still over 400 miles from Pensacola. And that still is the, well, the spot where we're targeting for landfall tomorrow afternoon.
This tornado watch has just been issued. We often get a lot of spin, Pinellas County, around Tampa, saw a tornado warning just a little while ago. This tornado watch expires at 4:00 p.m.
Here's the latest forecast track out of the National Hurricane Center. The track has not changed much. They do a real good job on the track and they'll fully admit that intensity is a tough call, often. But this is where they think the track is going to go, right just to the east of Mobile, somewhere between there and Pensacola, Florida, coming ashore either as a two or a category three storm. Again, timing for it some time tomorrow afternoon.
That's the latest on hurricane Dennis, back to category two status, 105 winds and a major hurricane would be over 110 miles an hour. And we could easily see that happen some time today -- Tony and Betty, back to you.
HARRIS: All right.
NGUYEN: We'll stay on top of that. Thank you, Rob.
MARCIANO: You bet.
HARRIS: Hunkering down -- that's what people along the Gulf Coast are doing as hurricane Dennis approaches.
CNN's Randi Kaye is in Pensacola, Florida this morning and our Kathleen Koch is in Washington, where federal officials are getting ready to deploy in the aftermath of the hurricane.
But first to Randi Kaye -- good morning, Randi.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Tony.
It's 6:00 a.m. here at Pensacola Beach and folks here will be waking up and I bet you they'll be packing their belongings and heading out of this area. That's because this beach is actually going to be closing at 11:00 a.m. this morning. We were told last night that we need to evacuate completely from this area by 6:00 p.m. today.
And just coming out this morning, out to the beach from my hotel to do this live shot for you, we could see there were piles and piles of plywood, stacks of wood. They're obviously preparing here to board up the hotel and try and secure it as best they can.
You may remember back in September, Ivan struck this area. It was hit very, very hard, plenty of damage, many lives lost.
As we were flying in yesterday, we could see that they still haven't really even fully cleaned up from Ivan. You could see boats laying on their sides in the wetlands and plenty of blue tarp on rooftops still.
But right now it's a beautiful morning here in Pensacola Beach. It's about 79 degrees. You can see there, that's the Gulf of Mexico behind me. The water is calm. The beach is calm. There's very little wind in the air. We're expecting maybe a 30 percent chance of rain here today. So it is actually a pretty nice day on tap.
I want to show you some of the video that we had taken last night in the Key West area and the Fort Lauderdale area. You can see what might be heading this way. There's some pretty heavy winds there and some rain, stop signs and palm trees bending from the strength of the winds.
Dennis is not there yet, but it's certainly coming, 74 mile an hour winds in Key West, as you heard Rob say. And 20 people killed in Cuba. So we know how strong this could be.
It's now a cat two, as Rob just told us, and it could pick up some steam. From what I understand, the Gulf of Mexico sort of works as fuel for the hurricanes. So it could make landfall here possibly Sunday afternoon, we're told, if it does, indeed, strike this area. And it could be a cat three, maybe even a cat four, we're told, by the time it gets here. But as I said, still cleaning up. Lots of concern if it does hit here. The Pensacola Bay Bridge, it's the main bridge that connects Pensacola Beach to the mainland. That was just finished being repaired in January and those are just temporary repairs, Tony, so lots of folks concerned that those temporary repairs aren't going to hold up and that bridge may not make it through hurricane Dennis.
OK, Randi Kaye in Pensacola for us this morning.
Randi, thank you.
And to Washington, D.C. now and to Kathleen Koch, where federal officials are standing by at the ready at a moment's notice to deploy -- Kathleen.
KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tony, there is a whirlwind of activity inside this building behind me, where Federal Emergency Management Agencies are getting ready to prepare for whatever kind of punch Dennis packs when it batters the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Officially, FEMA doesn't really kick into gear until the president makes an official declaration, a disaster declaration. But still, the officials inside are ready to spring into action. Already they've begun sending supplies, everything from ice to water plastic sheeting to those delicious MREs, the meals ready to eat, to the storm threatened states. Also, disaster medical assistance teams have been deployed in case they are needed.
Now, upstairs, the folks with FEMA, the employees, are working 24 hour around the clock, 24-7, working 12 hour shifts. Also on hand are different agencies that are preparing also to respond to the hurricane, everyone from the Red Cross to the Transportation Department, the Defense Department, everyone there with representatives on hand to better coordinate their response.
Now, the Census Bureau says that there are some 10 million Americans, more than 10 million, in the path potentially of this great storm which is expected to be quite large, and so they -- FEMA certainly has its work cut out for it. But, of course, it got plenty of practice last year in dealing with the storms from the 2004 season. According to FEMA, that was the largest mobilization of emergency response and disaster recovery resources in its history -- Tony.
I'm just making a note of that, Kathleen.
Ten million people potentially in the path of this storm. That is an incredible number.
Kathleen Koch in Washington, D.C. for us.
KOCH: Quite true.
HARRIS: We appreciate it, Kathleen.
And stay with CNN for the very latest on hurricane Dennis.
Coming up this hour, live reports from Havana, Cuba and New Orleans.
CNN brings you live on the scene coverage of the hurricane all weekend long.
NGUYEN: Now, the work to recover victims in London's subway attack is slowed by danger in the tunnels. We will get the latest on that investigation into the terrorist attacks. That's just ahead.
HARRIS: And let us know, are you worried a similar attack could happen here? We're reading your e-mails all morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM ZAGAT: The five most popular animated films of all time, as found by our 10,000 surveyors were "Finding Nemo," "Fantasia," "Snow White," "Spirited Away" and "Toy Story."
Our surveyors were looking at a series of criteria. One, the production values; two, the overall story; three, their general appeal. All of these films are based, usually, on fairy tales and almost all of them have a happy ending. And that's one of the great appeals.
These are all just fantastic classics. They were classics from the moment they were made. Every one of these films will be with us for the indefinite future, because they're so good and they have such classic, happy, wonderful stories, and they're so beautifully done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARCIANO: I'm Rob Marciano again in the CNN Weather Center.
Here's a look at the Allergy Report for today.
Recent rains have knocked down the pollen just a little bit across the Southeast and the trees are pretty much down. But grasses, ragweed, especially out West, and a little old dock kicking in there may have you sneezing.
I hope you're feeling well today.
We'll keep you posted on hurricane Dennis.
CNN LIVE SATURDAY MORNING will be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS: And topping the news now, hurricane Dennis has been beating up the Florida Keys for the past couple of hours. It was degraded, as you'll remember, a couple of hours ago, to a category one storm. And Rob told us just a moment ago, it has been upgraded now to a category two. Dennis has plenty of power to be a huge problem for the entire Gulf Coast.
Please stay with CNN for continuous updates throughout the day.
NGUYEN: It is just after noon in London right now as the search for the dead and the missing in Thursday's bombings continues today. This as police investigate all four bomb sites, above and underground, looking for clues.
Live now to CNN's Jim Clancy in London with the latest on the investigation.
Any more clues today -- Jim?
JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We haven't had any word yet from police, but we're expecting to get some kind of a briefing here in a matter of minutes. It is going to come about a block from where I'm standing now, which is outside Number Ten Downing Street. And, of course, the prime minister returned yesterday from Gleneagles and the G8 summit.
He came here answering questions, some of them from critics, about the situation. He came here also paying tribute to the resilience of the British people in the face of this crisis.
Now, I would not expect to hear the police tell us too much about the investigation thus far. There may be some details that emerge, but they have made it very clear from the start here, this is going to be a lengthy and thorough investigation, and I don't think the members of the press or the public can expect the police and the security officials here to be revealing clues minute by minute that they may uncover.
What we're more likely to hear is what progress has been made in recovering the bodies that are still believed to lay deep beneath the streets of London, between Kings Cross Station and another station where so many people lost their lives in an explosion there, one of four that struck this city on Thursday -- Betty.
NGUYEN: Jim, there is so much going on there.
I've got to ask you, though, about the mood in the city now. It's been a couple of days.
Are people getting back on the public transit systems?
CLANCY: They certainly are. They are getting back on the public transit systems. I think some people are being a bit hesitant, certainly people are being more cautious. But, Betty, you have to keep in mind here that this is a country, this is a people, and especially a city, that has lived with the threat of terrorism, not just for years, since September the 11th and the threats that they saw obviously posed there; not since the Madrid train bombings that pointed out how vulnerable any major city's transit system could be. These people have been living in that kind of a situation for decades as a result of what has happened in Northern Ireland.
That bombing campaign by the Irish Republican Army, the provisional wing of that Army, ended some years ago. But at the same time, the people here were always spotting the bag that was left behind on a bus or in a train depot.
So they have been very used to that. And they are, as the prime minister pointed out, a very resilient people. The prime minister was careful to say they are not going to be instituting any new laws, sweeping laws that somehow would take away some of the freedoms. They say instead, this is a time -- and this is the way the prime minister put it -- a time for people to pull together in Britain to defend their way of life -- Betty.
NGUYEN: To unite in strength.
Jim Clancy, thank you for that.
And I do want to remind our viewers that any minute now we are waiting for that news conference to take place in central London, where we should learn a little bit more about the investigation into these bombing. We'll be hearing from two British police officers there. And when that happens, CNN will take it live.
So stay tuned for that.
But in the meantime, what can cities do to help prevent terrorist attacks? Well coming up in just a few minutes, we will talk with Jeffrey Beatty, an expert on counter-terrorism and security. There he is. We'll be talking with him shortly.
Also, baseball's major league All Star game is expected to draw thousands of folks to Detroit this week and that has security experts nervous.
HARRIS: We are going "Beyond The Game" for a look at security preparations before the major event.
And hurricane Dennis turns toward the U.S. Rob has the newest tracking information coming up on CNN SATURDAY MORNING.
NGUYEN: Here's another live look on London. In fact, this is central London, where we are waiting for a press conference to begin any minute now. British police will be talking about the investigation and what they have learned, what they have still yet to learn in it. But we should get more details on all of that shortly.
When that happens, we will bring it to you live.
But in the meantime, the London bombings are an in your face reminder to the U.S. and the world that terror attacks can happen anytime, anywhere. Our next guest says all of us can play a role in helping prevent them.
And joining me now is counter-terrorism expert Jeffrey Beatty.
He is president of Total Security U.S.
We appreciate you taking the time to speak with us this morning.
First of all, when we wait for this press conference, a lot of people have in their minds questions, many questions, including police. One of those questions is how were these bombs set off? Was it remote control, was it suicide bombing?
What do you think? I mean you've got an expertise in this area. By look at the clues, what do you think?
JEFF BEATTY, PRESIDENT, TOTAL SECURITY U.S., FORMER CIA, FBI, DELTA FORCE: Well, it's going to be difficult to detonate the bombs underground by remote control. So, we're looking at possibly timers there, possibly suicide bombers, but most likely timers that were left behind.
I think that there's a lot that's going to unfold about the bomb on the bus. From what we know about bus bombs, and we actually simulated this for a group of 100 U.S. transit security officials last year when we did a live fire exercise, you can see...
NGUYEN: We're showing some video of that right now, of the bus. BEATTY: Yes. And, actually, there's a second part of that video that will show you what 15 pounds of explosives will do on a bus. In the first case, we had a successful resolution. An alert passenger detected the bomb. But in the second case, we had a bus where we put 15 pounds of explosives on it and there you see it in the dummy.
Now, that's a lot more damage than what you saw...
NGUYEN: Goodness. BEATTY: ... on the bus in London, which indicates to me that that bomber in London did not have the bomb in the position on that bus to do the maximum damage. So, I'm not sure that that bomb was not, in fact, en route to a target and perhaps somebody else detonated it remotely, perhaps the bomber was getting cold feet. Very interesting what will fall out of that particular bombing on the bus.
NGUYEN: But now you just said something that was very interesting to me. You said that the damage wasn't as bad in one of the scenarios because of alert passengers.
Are you saying that there's more that the public can do? BEATTY: Absolutely. You know, we've spent a lot of money on aviation security, certainly less money on public transit security, but nonetheless a significant amount, and I think that where we are right now, it's kind of like half time in a game. And at the half time, the coach makes adjustments. Yes, we need to do more in terms of beefing up law enforcement. Not -- the answer is not more cameras. London had all kinds of cameras and it didn't prevent the attack, did it?
What we have, though, is we have some algorithms that can be added to camera systems. These algorithms actually look at people moving around. They were originally designed to protect women in parking lots, to -- and to protect people from breaking into cars in parking lots, where the camera sees somebody move across its field. When that person stops and does something and looks in a car and looks in another, it can alert on it.
The same thing can be done, writing algorithms, in public transit. If someone were to move along with a package and then leave it behind, we can be alerted by the camera.
Those algorithms are under development but they're not yet widely fielded.
NGUYEN: Yes, that sounds very high tech.
But for the average every day person, what can they do? BEATTY: Well, that, I think, is where we can make the most progress in the least amount of time, Betty.
We have the ability to mobilize our population. I mean they ride the transit system every day. They know what looks out of order. What we need to do in the near term is to train those people a little bit better. Even though we're asking them to report, we need to reinforce and reward those people that report. We need to also put in place mechanisms so that we're not getting information overload.
NGUYEN: Right. BEATTY: We need law enforcement to be able to rapidly bring in this information from the public, assess it, turn it into something actionable, put context to it by having transit professionals help to evaluate these tips and then act on them quickly.
I believe if we mobilize the public right now, that is the best short-term thing we can do to prevent the type of thing that happened in London. And, you know, it's just appalling to me -- and not to speak ill of the dead -- but it's tragic that in Spain, in Madrid, a dozen people put bombs on vehicles and walked away from them and nobody challenged them, nobody reported it.
We cannot let that happen in the United States.
NGUYEN: Yes, you've got to be vigilant. You've got to keep an eye out. But a lot of times people don't really know that's what's happening. You set a bag down, someone may have thought they just forgot it. BEATTY: You know, at the high end of the public taking responsibility for its own safety -- and that's what I always tell people, half of public safety is the percent. I can see at the high end, it's kind of like a neighborhood watch put on wheels or put into the transit system. I'm perfectly willing, when I walk into a crowded transit car, if the threat level is up, to open up my gym bag and let anybody in the place take a look at it or if I'm wearing an overcoat just open up my overcoat and show my neighbors that are riding with me I don't pose a threat, you know?
And the public -- this is the type of thing you do when you're at war. I mean the public can do those things.
NGUYEN: It's going to take cooperation, Jeff, lots of public cooperation for that to happen.
We appreciate your insights and your time today.
Thank you. BEATTY: You're welcome, Betty.
NGUYEN: You want to stay tuned to CNN day and night for the most reliable news about your security.
HARRIS: Southern states brace for severe winds and rain from hurricane Dennis. What can we expect? We get the latest -- Rob.
MARCIANO: Hey, Tony, the hurricane now expected to make landfall here in the U.S. for over a day, really. But the effects are already being felt along the Keys of Florida and also up through central and southern Florida. A tornado watch out for there. There's the center of the storm. Winds gusting over hurricane strength along the Keys.
The full forecast is upcoming.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: October, 1998, hurricane Mitch and its heavy rains caused some 10,000 deaths. It stalled over Central America for several days, shredding homes with 180 mile per hour winds and creating floods and mud slides.
Mitch then drifted north. Now a tropical storm, it made landfall in south Florida, killing two people before moving back out into the ocean.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
HARRIS: Let's get you to central London now, where the press briefing is underway on -- an update on Thursday's terror attacks in London.
ANDY TROTTER, BRITISH TRANSPORT POLICE: ... examination of the area surrounding the bus. So that area will be closed off for some time to come.
We are facing particular challenges at Russell Square. The search was halted overnight because of the increasingly difficult conditions, but resumed again early this morning. I visited the search teams there and they are facing particularly difficult conditions. It is extremely hot, very dusty and it is a great challenge for them to continue their work to recover the remaining bodies from the train underground. This work was, it was slow, methodical and meticulous, and at the same time, the forensic recovery teams are working alongside them in order to ensure that no clues are lost.
It will be some time before this job is completed. And it will be done with all the necessary dignity to the deceased.
BRIAN PADDICK: Thanks, Andy.
The police casualty bureau -- the telephone number is shown behind me -- has so far taken up 120,000 calls from those concerned about people who may be missing or who may have been caught up as a casualty in these incidents. We now have established a casualty bureau number for those people who want to call from overseas, and that number is being distributed to overseas press agencies and the number will be available to those journalists from overseas at the end of this briefing.
Clearly, we are most concerned about the friends and relatives of those who have either been bereaved by this incident or whose friends or relatives are still missing. We have family liaison officers. These are police officers who are specially trained to deal with these particular issues who have particular skills and qualities to deal with these harrowing circumstances. And we have a family liaison officer strategy in place. And we're operating this not only with Metropolitan Police Service officers, but with family liaison officers across the country working very carefully with other forces.
A 24 hour reception center for people who are trying to trace family and friends, who fear that they may have been involved in the bomb attacks, will open this afternoon. We will confirm the exact opening time, the address and directions once the center is full operational. It will be in a central London location. All the agencies involved in this reception center have been working together overnight and this morning to make sure that it's fully equipped, that the necessary logistics and communications are in place.
The center will be staffed by some of these police family liaison officers, Red Cross, Salvation Army, victim support and WRVS staff. So this is the voluntary agencies working with the statutory agencies to support the friends and relatives.
This center is -- will provide people with the opportunity to discuss face to face the concerns that they have and to provide us with the information that we need to try and identify those people who we -- and those bodies that we have found, and also to assist us in tracing those who are still missing.
I have to stress, this facility is for those people who still have loved ones outstanding. If friends and relatives already have a police family liaison officer assigned to them, then it's not necessary to attend this reception center. As I say, we've deployed a number of these family liaison officers not only across London, but across the country.
I have to continue to urge people who have already telephoned the casualty bureau to report people missing but who have subsequently been reunited with their loved ones to call us again to make sure that we can close off those missing records.
We'll issue full details on advice about travel, things people will need to bring with them, that we would want to bring with them to the reception center, all that sort of information, as soon as the center is operational. We shall provide that this afternoon. And we're really grateful for the -- to the media for publicizing that information. It will be of great assistance to those who are still clearly very anxious about those who are still missing.
As Andy says, the investigation is continuing and as we go through all the evidence that's available to us, evidence from witnesses, technical evidence and so forth, a slightly different picture is emerging around the timing of these bomb incidents.
As a result of looking at the technical data, which you will hear about in a moment, and the evidence from eyewitness accounts, it would appear now that all three bombs on the London underground system actually exploded within seconds of each other, at around 8:50 in the morning.
You will recall that the original timing for the Edgware Road explosion was given as 09:17. This was the first time that the police received a call about an explosion at that location. We had had previous calls to that location about other incidents, about a person trapped under a train, for example. And so immediately the incident occurred, police officers, fire brigade, other emergency services, were immediately deployed to Edgware Road. But the 09:17 is the first call the police received that this was actually an explosion.
You will understand that there were a series of emergency calls to all the emergency services over the this time. But as I say, it's because of the technical data that we've now been able to retrieve and because of the eyewitness statements that we can clarify the position that, in fact, the three bombs exploded almost simultaneously. And to take us through exactly what that technical information is and why we can now be pretty certain around the timings, we have Tim O'Toole from TFL.
TIM O'TOOLE, M.D.: Thank you very much.
If you'll indulge me, I would like to thank the staff of the London underground and London buses for the fact that the day following the incident, we were up running full service at first light. I think it's a great tribute to those people and I'm thrilled to work with them.
I'm going to take you through some technical data.
You'll recall when I was with you the other day, I said it was our perception that these things were within three minutes of each other, but that conflicted with other reports. I think it would have been impossible at that time for all parties to come to the same conclusion because the sources of information were so varied and it took time for us to all sit down and interrogate the data together before we could come to firm conclusions.
I will also say that while I'm going to show you some software that we use on the underground, and it's that software that reveals the times, we have also interrogated our power electrical systems. And the readout from those systems corroborate the information I'm going to give you. So we're quite confident in these data.
This is a picture of the Circle Line and the first train at Aldgate. And we believe it exploded -- the bomb on that train exploded maybe seconds ahead of the others. You'll see the incident train. This train, 204, can you see it on the top? It's the outer rail.
These tracks, they're going up to your right. Now that would be going out the District Line. So what this train wants to do is to go around the circle, all right?
So -- if you'll move to the next picture -- you can see the train has moved from Margate to Liverpool Street. It will have discharged passengers and picked them up and you'll notice if you go to the next one, the incident. Right there.
You can see what has happened is the track circuits on all of those other lines, you can see the orange lines indicate that an event has occurred to trip out the power system. And that was almost certainly the blast. And this software allows us to confirm the timings.
If you would go to the next. This is the Edgware Road site and you can see now we're looking for train 216, which you can see up on your right at the top leaving the station at Baker Street.
Field move forward.
All right, now, 216 has made its way down to Edgware Road at the platform. Now, if you'll -- now, one thing I want to explain, now 216 has moved forward and right opposite is a train, you'll see, it's 000. That is not the number of that train, but it's a -- it's the limitation of the software. It does not pick up, from that part of the track, the number of that train. But this is the other train that was impacted, that was affected by the explosions and the blast.
And it is undoubtedly the fact that this other train was on -- opposite 216 that caused the reports for people to say that there had been a derailment, that the train had hit the tunnel wall. What they were experiencing was the, really, the blow back, the feedback of the bomb on 216 hitting the train on the other track.
We don't have pictures of the Piccadilly incident, but we do know, as I said from our electronics systems, that almost at this exact same moment, the tunnel telephone wires went. And when they go out, they immediately trip out the traction current. And so we can see that an event happened at this exact same time. And, as I say, as we've done -- looked at the readouts from the traction current system, it corroborates this story.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, what we will do after the press briefing, we will replay those slides in slower time so that if you need some clarity around that, we will be able to do that.
But we'll take questions now from the floor.
Could you please identify yourself and who the question is directed at.
I'll start at the very back.
QUESTION: Andy Tighe, BBC.
Mr. Paddick, in view of what we now know about the timings, what does that tell you about the modus operandi of the bomber or bombers in the manner in which they were detonated?
PADDICK: Well, clearly there are two possibilities here. Either you have people with the explosive devices who've synchronized watches or whatever, and they have all simultaneously detonated their devices at the same time. Or it could be that these devices have been triggered by timing devices. The timing devices themselves were coordinated to go off at the same time.
I don't think it takes us much further forward -- other than to say bearing in mind these were almost seamless, we think within 50 seconds of each other -- that maybe, maybe that lends more toward timing devices more than people actually with the bombs manually detonating.
But we are not ruling out either of those possibilities.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A question here please.
QUESTION: Michel Moutou (ph) with Agence France Presse.
Could you, a question for Mr. Paddick.
Could you confirm that you are looking for a British citizen of American origin named Mohammed al-Baragozi (ph)?
PADDICK: We are not -- we are not looking for any specific individuals at this stage, as far as I am aware. We are keeping all our options open. We are pursuing a whole series of investigative lines. But we are not confirming that we are looking for any particular named individuals.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A question there, please?
QUESTION: Cassandra Vinograd, Associated Press. Do you know how many bodies are left in the carriages? And, if so, have you identified them and notified their families?
TROTTER: The -- no, we don't know at the moment how many bodies are left in the carriages. The work is extremely difficult given the force of the blast and the conditions down there. And the recovery teams are slowly recovering those bodies from there.
At the moment we don't know how many are in there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your follow-up to that one?
QUESTION: Can you tell us how many people are missing then, and also give us a time frame for the recovery?
TROTTER: As far as the time frame is concerned, it is extremely hot, extremely dusty and quite dangerous down there. When I spoke to the officers this morning, they said they're going to be working throughout today, into tonight. It may go beyond that. As far as the number of missing person are concerned, the casualty bureau have received thousands of calls and they're currently working through those calls to identify those that relate to people who have either already been identified as dead or those that are injured. And they're attempting to match those up right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A question there, please?
Where you are?
QUESTION: Saka Gitchell (ph) from "The Independent" on Sunday.
This is a more general question. What discussions may or may not be going on toward raising the level of security for the Olympics? I understand that obviously several million has been put aside on the security, but clearly after the events of this week, you know, there must be something that's being considered.
TROTTER: Of course. The planning is going ahead for the Olympics. The British police, who did a great deal of work on Athens advising on the Athens Olympics and gained a great deal of expertise from that. The work has already been started. All the various agencies are beginning to get together and the plans will be put in place to ensure that we have a safe Olympics.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A question in the front.
QUESTION: David Harrison, the "Sunday Telegraph."
You said that the accidents were reported at 9:17, or the first explosion was reported at 9:17. You didn't say at what time you thought they happened. I mean you did say they happened within 50 seconds of each other.
But what time did they actually happen?
TROTTER: We believe that they were within a very short time, around 08:50.
QUESTION: And just one for Sir O'Toole.
What time was the London underground network fully shut down?
O'TOOLE: Oh, we went to -- we stopped moving any trains on any lines around 9:15. We evacuated the entire network a few minutes after that. We went to code red after we found out, I believe, by memory of it as being in the control center, that it was after we found out about the bus. But it might have been before that.
QUESTION: So the time would be, of the total shutdown?
O'TOOLE: When we started evacuating people. See, first what we did is we moved all trains to stations, to platform, that is, where we could. We run more trains than we have platforms at any one time during the peak, because we're running some 500 trains. So we would have moved everyone to platform, opened the doors and waited for further guidance.
Because at this time, of course, we were still struggling to understand what exactly had happened. We simply knew that we had power out. We had a report of a possible derailment at Edgware Road. And then the report of -- that there was a loud bang, an explosion of some kind at Aldgate, , even though that incident probably -- almost certainly happened a few seconds before that, that was when we got the report.
And at that time we were still thinking about the 22 K.V. system, the power system for the traction current and wondering if something had happened there. And then, of course, at this time, as you can imagine, we're getting phone calls from all over the system. We started to get phone calls from Russell Square and Edgware Road.
And once we pieced together that there were other trains actually involved, that's when we went to code amber. And then as soon as this -- the full extent of this became apparent to us, we pulled everyone out of the system.
You have to understand, from our perspective, to stop the system is a very, very grave decision, because you have people on trains in tunnels. Once stopped, it's very hard to start it again and that is not a decision you can take lightly because it requires exquisite timing by your staff to get everyone out safely, which fortunately my staff was able to accomplish. But it's a risk you don't take unless you have some confirmation.
QUESTION: Just a final question.
Are you then satisfied that the network was closed down at the right time?
O'TOOLE: I'm extremely proud of the decisions that were made that day.
QUESTION: I'm sorry, what time did you go to code amber exactly? O'TOOLE: I don't have the exact log in front of me. It was approximately 9:15.
PADDICK: Can I just clarify, make absolutely clear here, we think that the devices went off around 08:50. The first call we had was to the Aldgate Liverpool Street incident at 08:51. It was only -- we had other calls to Edgware Road, which were not reporting an explosion. They were reports to a person under a train, very shortly afterward. It was the 09:17 time is the first time we had a confirmed call to the police, to the Metropolitan Police, that there was an explosion at that site. And we already had all the emergency services well underway, and, in fact, by 09:17 on scene and dealing with the incident, before we actually had the message through to confirm that it was an explosion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A question there, please?
QUESTION: Andrea O'Neil (ph) from BBC London.
If you could just clarify for us the time that the bus exploded, because you mentioned that the bus may have exploded slightly earlier than you thought. And any theories as to why that may have exploded later than the other three?
TROTTER: The bus explosion was timed at 09:47. The investigators are looking at every possibility and nothing is ruled out or ruled in as far as that was concerned. But as you can see, it was significantly after the others. I was in the British Transport Police headquarters. We were dealing with the first three when the building was rocked by that explosion. So it was a considerable time after the others.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right there?
QUESTION: Neville Dean from the Press Association.
Can I ask first, has this review of the timings come about because of this mobile phone camera footage that was broadcast on the news last night which (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the Edgware Road timing was out? Or was the review started before then?
PADDICK: The S.O. -- sorry, the anti-terrorist branch were well aware of the simultaneous explosion of these devices. We then, and so it wasn't as a result of that particular piece of information becoming to the media. We -- the investigators already knew about the fact that the timings were different from the ones that we were aware of initially.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A question (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
QUESTION: I'm sorry, could I just ask quickly, as well, we've had a -- we've had a report that there's a very seriously injured man in the Royal London Hospital and we've had it suggested to us that he's suspected of perhaps being one of the bombers.
Can you comment on whether you've examined the possibility that there is a patient being treated at the Royal London Hospital who you suspect might be one of the bombers?
PADDICK: As far as we're concerned, this is just complete speculation. Clearly, any information that we receive we will make sure, absolutely sure, that there is no evidential value in any of the information before we move on to the next line of inquiry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, the next question in the front row, please.
QUESTION: So could I -- two questions, if I could. One would be, so if there's a 27 minute time period between the first call to police and the first event...
PADDICK: No, that's not correct. No.
QUESTION: That's not correct? So eight...
PADDICK: There's a one minute gap between the first event and the first call to police.
QUESTION: I thought you said 09:17?
PADDICK: 09:17 was the first call to an explosion at Edgware Road.
PADDICK: But we had other calls to Edgware Road about somebody under a train. We had a call at 08:51 to Aldgate, Liverpool Street about a possible explosion there, which is about, on our timings, about one minute after the explosion happened.
QUESTION: Is there any -- in going back over the timings, the sequencing and realizing that they're closer in time, is there any sense on your part that there was, amid the confusion, a slow reaction to this and that lives could have been saved if the communication systems could have been more efficient.
O'TOOLE: And my people were there immediately.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's two questions. So only one now, please.
I'll go back now, please.
Thank you very much.
QUESTION: Could I ask the Metropolitan Police deputy commissioner -- I'm from Irish TV, Charlie Berdsman (ph). And I want to go back to the bus incident again. I saw an interview, I think it was the BBC, this morning, with a gentleman who said he saw somebody in an agitated state with perhaps a bag.
Is there any possibility that there may have been a suicide bomber on board the bus?
PADDICK: There is a possibility that the person with the bomb died on the bus. There is that possibility. There is also the possibility that they just left the device and left the bus before it exploded. We are not ruling anything out. We're not ruling anything in. But the evidence we have so far would suggest that it was a device in a bag rather than something that was strapped to the individual.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
Coming down, coming, working down that row?
Thank you very much.
QUESTION: Lisa Pantum (ph) from "The News of the World."
Can you tell us whether you've been able to identify any of the dead bodies and whether the family have been able to fully identify any of the dead?
PADDICK: Yes, we have. Both.
QUESTION: Will you be releasing any of those names to us today?
PADDICK: Not today, but in due course we will.
QUESTION: If they've been formally identified, why, what's the holdup?
PADDICK: It is a question of formal identification. So whilst we have, we believe, to our satisfaction, identified, it's a matter for the coroner to give authority for us to release those details as being officially identified.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
Do you have something?
QUESTION: Martin Allio (ph), Swiss Radio.
Two questions, one probably to Mr. Trotter.
You were talking about the rescue operation on the Piccadilly Line train.
Could you just confirm that on the other two bomb sites in the Circle Line, the carriages are gone, there is no bodies, everything is finished? PADDICK: No. No, the carriages are in situ in all three underground locations. So forensic recovery continues at those scenes with a meticulous examination to look for clues to help the investigation. The scene at Russell Square is about body recovery, as well as forensic retrieval.
QUESTION: And the implication is that there are no bodies in the other two sites left?
PADDICK: As I said, forensic recovery goes on at those other two sites.
QUESTION: And the second question that I announced for Mr. Paddick, perhaps, have you any trace of timing devices as of yet confirmed?
PADDICK: It's a long, painstaking process. You can imagine that any -- whether it was the remote control, whether it was a manual detonation, whether it was a timing device, that is going to be in probably millions of pieces. It does not mean that we cannot subsequently identify what mechanism was used, but we can't at this stage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Questions in the front please.
QUESTION: Julian Rush, Channel 4 News.
Two things, if I may.
One is can you confirm that the closed-circuit television cameras on the bus were not working, so that you have no images of the bomber, if there was one, getting onto the bus?
And, secondly, can you give me some indication of the degree of damage to the tunnel, particular tunnels, but particularly at Russell Square, whether there's any danger of collapse?
TROTTER: As far as CC-TV is concerned, we can't comment particularly on the bus. That is being examined at the moment. But obviously CC-TV plays a major part in this investigation. The underground system has many cameras and, of course, as far as the bus is concerned, there will be many traffic cameras, commercial systems that it will have passed.
So one of the first actions is to cede everything that was available to assist the investigators.
As far as the Russell Square is concerned, I was speaking to the investigator at the scene this morning and he tells me there is not significant damage to the tunnel.
O'TOOLE: No, the tunnel is fine. It's intact.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Working the way back there, please?
QUESTION: I'm Glenn Franco with the "Washington Post." Tim, can you give us the exact order of which one exploded first of the three over that 50 second time period?
O'TOOLE: It appears that the sequence was the explosion at Aldgate, then Edgware then the Piccadilly Line train. But it was bang, bang, bang, very close together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Next door, please?
QUESTION: Matthew Jones, Reuters.
With regard to the CCT in the -- around the city, can you give us an indication of how far you're progressing in investigating that? And, also, what focus are the team from the Madrid giving at the moment?
PADDICK: This is a very well rehearsed system that we operate. We are in contact with all operators of closed-circuit television, whether they're public systems or commercial systems, to ensure that when an incident of this type happens, that we get reliable pictures from those systems.
And so it is, as I say, a well rehearsed, well planned system of seizing every piece of CC-TV that we think may in any way be useful. And that, that is, that has been done.
And the second question was...
QUESTION: Well, about the Madrid investigation team.
I'm not sure what the Madrid team are actually specifically engaged with. Clearly, we are not going to turn down any offers of assistance from anyone to help us catch these perpetrators and we will be working very closely with them to try and see how they can assist us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A question behind, please.
QUESTION: Allen Biandani (ph), (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Italy.
Which kind of explosive do you think the terrorists used?
PADDICK: At this stage, all we are saying is that it is high explosive. That would tend to suggest that it is not homemade explosive. But whether it is military explosive, whether it is commercial explosive, whether it's plastic explosive, we do not want to say at this stage. Clearly, there are some things that we will tell u. There are other things which are crucial to the investigation and the interrogation of people subsequently that we would not want to give out. And at this stage, we are just saying high explosive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You there in the front here, please.
I'll try to get as many of you an interview in as possible. QUESTION: Amelia Hill, "The Observer."
I'm sorry to return to the bodies, but can you tell me how many have been identified by the families and how many you hope will be identified by the end of the weekend?
PADDICK: I don't have that information available to me. If the coroner is content, we should be able to find that out for you this afternoon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
QUESTION: First of all, what do you make of this new claim of responsibility from the Abu Hafs Al Masri Brigade?
And have you arrested anybody?
PADDICK: We have not arrested anyone in connection with these incidents and we will look at all claims of responsibility and all pieces of information to ensure that we do not rule out anything that may in any way be useful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
QUESTION: Kevin Cullen from the "Boston Globe."
Within days of the attack in Istanbul there was another attack by the same bombers. In Madrid, we saw that the same bombers were attempting to launch another attack before they were foiled.
Is there an hourglass here? Are you operating under an assumption that these attackers will attack again?
TROTTER: The -- there's not a, obviously, we must remain prepared for any eventuality. The fact that we have had these attacks doesn't mean we won't have more attacks. Therefore, we're taking all necessary precautions to keep London as safe as we possibly can.
You'll see the activities out there on the street, the high visibility policing. The undercover work you won't see, of course.
And at the same time there are appealing to Londoners to assist us. As we have said before, there are three million journeys a day on the underground. And those people can assist us by reporting anything suspicious to us. And they're currently doing so at the moment. Many of the various alerts in London at the moment are because people are calling us to suspicious people or suspicious packages.
And I think we should start to get very impatient with people who leave packages and suitcases lying around. It's intolerable now that people should do such a thing. And we should be prepared to challenge and report so we can stop this happening so we can keep London on the move.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A question there, please?
QUESTION: Andy Gardner with the "Sunday Mirror."
There's a report in the "L.A. Times" today saying that a timer has been found in the debris of the bus.
Could you confirm or deny that?
TROTTER: We won't confirm or deny that at the moment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
Going around to the back?
QUESTION: Maeve Sheehan of "The Sunday Independent" in Dublin.
I'm just -- I just wanted to inquire whether Scotland Yard has asked Irish Guardia to assist in their inquiries. And, if so, to do specifically what?
PADDICK: I don't know, to be honest with you. If the Guardia have offered help, I'm sure we are looking to take up any assistance that we think might be helpful. But I don't have any specific information about that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A question in the back?
QUESTION: Miguel with Deutsche Welle Radio.
Do you expect to have all the bodies recovered by Sunday evening?
TROTTER: The body recovery will continue throughout today and it may well go into tomorrow. It depends entirely upon the progress that the body recovery team are making. But as I said earlier, there are extremely difficult conditions. They have to stop, obviously, for safety reasons, from time to time. And we're trying to make conditions in there as best as we possibly can as far as ventilating and keeping the temperature down.
But that will continue and it will take as long as it takes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll take three more questions.
The man right here, please?
You told us how difficult the conditions were beneath Kings Cross.
Could you give us a little more detail on that and tell us just what kind of equipment you're using, what are the particular difficulties you're facing? I gather, for example, that there's very little room either side of the tube, it sort of hugs the tunnel so tightly.
QUESTION: And how many men you've got working down there?
TROTTER: The tunnel is extremely tight. It is a long way from Russell Square. The train is much nearer at Kings Cross than it is Russell Square. But the access is from the Russell Square tube, which is a deep underground tube. So the recovery teams have a long way to go before they get there. It is an extremely hot, extremely hostile environment there. And because of the confined circumstances, the blast and the damage to the train has obviously been considerable. And as a result, it makes it very difficult for people to work in there.
The efforts of the rescue teams when they were rescuing live people, obviously, overcame the difficulties there at the time. But we've had to stop and regroup, look at the risks, look at the dangers, and proceed much more cautiously, of course, bearing in mind, we're trying to recover forensic material, so it's both a body recovery and a forensic recovery that's going on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're using all sorts of techniques to get in there. These -- unfortunately, have a great deal of experience both at home and abroad of outrages, and the officers who are working there are highly experienced. But they're cautiously making their way through, and they'll be recovering bodies throughout today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE), "Bergen Times," Norway. Has your intelligence picked up warnings of any other attacks? And has there been any other groups claiming responsibility for these attacks?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Other than the groups that have already been mentioned this morning, we're not aware of any other groups that have claimed responsibility, and we have no specific intelligence at this stage about specific attacks that are planned in the future.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last question (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, no, it's Rogers, "Sunday Times." You haven't actually told us what exactly you're using to get at the wreckage in the tunnel. What sort of equipment are you using?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The officers will be using a variety of equipment. They will be using cutting equipment, all sorts of tools to try and pry the fabric of the train apart. As you can imagine, in the packed train at rush hour, you know, very tight tunnel, the damage is considerable. And they're using all necessary equipment to discharge their task. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. There will be opportunities for one-to-ones. If you see my colleagues, they're coming down now. You can speak to Bernie and Sarah. They will arrange one-to-ones. This is (INAUDIBLE) breaking here at half past 1:00, with body recovery teams...
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And if you're just joining us, you've been watching a briefing from Andy Trotter, deputy chief constable of the British Transportation Police, Brian Paddock, deputy assistant commissioner, Metropolitan Police, and Tim O'Toole of the London Underground.
We've learned a couple of things in that briefing. First of all, recovery operations at the Russell Street Station have been going very slowly. We still don't know at this time, the attacks took place on Thursday, here it is Saturday. We still don't know how many bodies are still in cars in the Russell Street Station Underground. It is extremely hot and dusty and dangerous, we were told.
It is a long, painstaking operation and to recover all of the remaining bodies from the Russell Square Station, painstaking, again, because you have to remember that this is still a crime scene, and investigators want to preserve all the forensic information on site to further the investigation.
We also learned that all three of the bombs exploded within seconds of one another at about 8:50 a.m. ON Thursday morning at the height of rush hour, leaving very little doubt that this was a coordinated attack, and that the bus bomb exploded about 9:47 a.m., almost a full hour after the initial blast.
We will certainly continue to follow developments in London and bring you updates throughout the day here on CNN.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: We're also following a major story, and that is Hurricane Dennis. It went down to a category one but then was upgraded...
HARRIS: That's right.
NGUYEN: ... to a category two.
Let's get the latest on that with Rob Marciano. Where is it now, Rob?
ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: A category two status, as you mentioned, 95 miles to the west-southwest of Key West, Florida. Along the keys, they've had winds gust over 70 miles an hour in many spots. So even though it's, you know, over 100 miles an hour away from, say, Marathon, they've had wind gusts over 80 miles an hour there.
So the wind field is pretty big with this. This is Cuba. It went through Cuba last night. Cien Fuegos (ph) had a report of a 149- mile-an-hour wind gust and 85 percent power outages there. So now it's heading into the Gulf of Mexico, after weakening, now strengthening, as the warm waters of the Gulf to regain some strength, and it's doing that.
How strong it gets is still a matter of concern and of question. But look at how wide the wind field and the cloud canopy is getting. And I tell you what, earlier today, we had serious weather go through Tampa, which is about 200 miles -- over 200 miles away from the center of this. Madison County, Bradenton had a report of a tornado. That's over 200 miles from the center, which is right here.
Here's Key West. Draw a line for you to the direction in which it's going in the forecast track. That would be Pensacola, 480 miles (INAUDIBLE) is the distance right now. And also right now is the direction and speed at which it's going is about 14 or 15 miles an hour.
So on an average of 15 or 16 miles an hour, heading in that direction, that will get it to the Pensacola area, or at least the panhandle towards the Mississippi River, tomorrow afternoon, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, maybe 5:00, the center of it. The effects of it, though, are going to start to be felt across the panhandle probably tomorrow morning early.
And also on top of that, Tony and Betty, the entire peninsula of Florida is going to be feeling the effects. I mean, if Tampa already has squally weather with a tornado, you can be sure that the entire west coast will see it.
Right now, hurricane warnings are up from the Steinhatchee River all the way to Pearl River, and they're still up for Key West.
Tony and Betty, back to you. That's the latest.
NGUYEN: Floridians bracing themselves, although, boy, another hard-hit (INAUDIBLE), it seems.
HARRIS: Absolutely, yes.
NGUYEN: Thank you, Rob.
NGUYEN: Well, CNN is live in hard-hit Havana, where Dennis passed by last night, and Pensacola, where evacuations are under way right now.
But first, let's go to Key West, where residents have been experiencing the winds and rains all night long.
Elena Echari of our affiliate station WPLG was out in the elements about an hour ago. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ELENA ECHARI, REPORTER, WPLG: Let me tell you, it has not let up. It is a driving rain. Feel like a drowned rat out here, because it really, it has not let up. You can see down on the street here there is some flash flooding. And a little more importantly, Mario, if we can go up to that site over there, you can see aluminum part of that structure is blowing around. Any second now, you know that's going to come flying off.
Now, the bigwigs of Key West, the (INAUDIBLE), the police chief and the mayor, and all sorts of other officials are out here. You can see this is their car. And the police chief is right over there with other news crews. And they are assessing the damage. They have been driving up and down Key West just to see what daylight brings out here. And they said that they've seen a lot of debris on the roadway.
In fact, we took a ride out in the car too when things were calm, and this was hours ago. And already we were seeing all sorts of tree limbs down, palm fronds. We also found a garbage can out in the middle of the road. We had to swerve around that, because there was no daylight and no electricity out here, so it's pitch-black.
So you can see some of the hazards that they're worried that when people get up, they're going to want to do the same thing. They're seeing the pictures on TV. They're going to get out for themselves and see what's going on around Key West.
But as the police chief told me just a little while ago in our interview, they are not recommending that. They are asking that residents stay indoors. Obviously, this onslaught of rain is not over, and it won't be over for a while. Don (ph) said it could continue for about six to eight hours.
So while it's not -- excuse me. While it's not expected to get a whole lot worse, there's no letting up. It's going to be a continuous thing. And it really is a driving rain out here.
That's the situation as it stands. As soon as we get any more info out here, we're going to try to drive around as soon as it gets a little safer, and we'll let you know what's going on out here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Let's take a look now where Dennis has been. Cuba is reeling from a hurricane, which pounded its way along the length of the island.
CNN's Lucia Newman joins us by videophone from Havana. Lucia?
LUCIA NEWMAN, CNN HAVANA BUREAU CHIEF: Hello, Tony.
Well, as you can see, it's still raining here. These are the leftovers of Hurricane Dennis, which exited just about 20 miles from here along Havana's northern coast shortly after midnight. Now, the winds were ferocious last night. At this moment, power is totally out in the capital city (INAUDIBLE). We don't know when it will be reestablished.
We were able to see this morning a lot of light posts thrown around the streets, lot of the trees down as well. But as the residents panic-stricken (INAUDIBLE) even worse than it was.
Fortunately, (INAUDIBLE), this hurricane entering Cuba from the south as a category five, the strongest and most deadly type of hurricane. But by the time it hit Havana, it was down to a strong category two, which was fortunate for this city, which really is the most vulnerable part of Cuba when it comes to hurricanes, Tony.
Now, people are still mopping up. We don't know exactly the toll in terms of damage to property. We -- President Castro did say yesterday that 10 people have died in the east of Cuba, where the hurricane first approached the island. We don't know of any more people having -- of any more fatalities, that is. We know that there was a lot of damage to the crops (INAUDIBLE) to installations, electrical installations buildings. But that will be determined, the extent of that, later on.
For now, the hurricane has gone and people are (INAUDIBLE), Tony.
HARRIS: Lucia, those pictures are devastating. Give us a sense of where you were. I think I saw you for a bit yesterday. You were on a different part of the island. Give us a sense of how many people have been displaced, how many people have been moved to shelters, and if those people have been allowed to move back to the part of the island where the storm has passed through.
NEWMAN: Tony, the displacements, or the evacuations, started two days before, that is, on Thursday. And in all, according to (INAUDIBLE), more than a million Cubans were taken from their homes to higher ground, to government shelters, in schools, hospitals, and government buildings, to get them out of harm's way.
The people who were first evacuated have now been able to return home. But certainly people in Havana are slowly now beginning to pick up the pieces, and throughout the course of the morning will presumably be allowed to go home, that is, people whose homes (INAUDIBLE) severe damage.
We don't know, as I say, the extent of the damage (INAUDIBLE) here in Havana, but it seems to have been less than what many had predicted, Tony.
HARRIS: Lucia Newman from Havana for us. Lucia, thank you.
We'll take a break, and we'll come back with more coverage of Dennis as CNN SATURDAY MORNING continues.
NGUYEN: But first, a CNN extra to tell you about right now. Seven storms reached hurricane strength in 2004. The American Red Cross and other agencies sheltered more than 368,000 people before and after the four hurricanes came ashore.
NGUYEN: For those of you just waking up this morning, Hurricane Dennis was upgraded to a category two storm just over an hour ago, with winds of 105 miles per hour.
Now, the storm is churning its way through the Atlantic, heading into the Gulf of Mexico. Forecasters expect it to pick up even more strength over open waters as it heads towards the U.S.
And as you can see, south Florida is already starting to feel the effects of the storm. Look at these pictures. Overnight, Dennis left at least 10 people dead in Cuba, and 10 more dead in Haiti.
Governors of four states have declared states of emergency and evacuations in low-lying areas. They continue as we speak.
HARRIS: Many residents in Florida are asking, how many times must we go through this? Hurricane Dennis is headed straight for Florida, aiming at some of the same spots battered and bruised by Hurricanes Ivan, Frances, and Charley just last year.
Our Randi Kaye is in Pensacola with the latest there. Good morning, Randi.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning again, Tony.
We're here at Pensacola Beach. And this area was very hard hit by Ivan last September, and now they are bracing for Dennis.
And you don't have to go very far to see what Ivan left behind here. If you take a look here, this hotel is right next to ours. Ours is open, obviously, but this one says, "Temporarily Closed." This hotel has been abandoned. It's not exactly boarded up, but there's plenty of damage there. It has been abandoned since September 15 of last year, when Ivan struck.
It's hard to believe, though, that anything is actually heading this way, because if you take a look at the beach, it's beautiful, it's calm. There's some very small waves rolling in. But the water is calm, the beach is quiet. A light wind, the sun is shining.
But folks here, they know what Hurricane Ivan did, and now, bracing for Dennis, they are not taking any chances. We have to evacuate this area along with the rest of the folks here by 6:00 p.m. today. The beach is going to close in about four hours.
But included in those evacuations will be the Marshburn family, who have decided not to weather another storm.
KAYE (voice-over): Debbie and Rodney Marshburn just moved back into their Pensacola home a few months ago. Hurricane Ivan's power pushed them out last September. DEBBIE MARSHBURN, PENSACOLA RESIDENT: At first, we only had one sink in the house, and one bath, one commode. And then we finally got that other sink in the hall hooked up.
KAYE: Last month, when tropical storm Arlene was about to roll through here, the Marshburns told CNN they were staying put. This time, with Hurricane Dennis threatening to slam Pensacola again, they aren't taking any chances.
Their most precious belongings will be stored in the attic, the very attic Debbie and Ronnie and their grandkids took shelter in during Ivan.
(on camera): What do you remember feeling when you were in the attic?
DEBBIE MARSHBURN: Oh, it was just unbelievable. You just -- we didn't know. We did -- we had no idea, are we going to drown? We didn't know if the water was going to stop coming up. I mean, we sat in our attic with the stairs down, in our life jackets with flashlights, on our garage windows watching that water slowly inch up.
KAYE (voice-over): And there are still nightmares. Ronnie dreams about sharks and snakes swimming through his home.
(on camera): So have you had enough? Is that why this time you say there's no way we're sticking around for Dennis? Is it enough, finally?
DEBBIE MARSHBURN: It's enough. It's -- we have learned. We have had Hurricane 101. We've learned about hurricanes. And although we've lived here all of our lives, we have never experienced a hurricane like Hurricane Ivan. Well, Pensacola has never been hit by a hurricane like Ivan. And so we don't want to take that chance with our lives ever again.
KAYE: The Marshburns will be back once Dennis departs. And when they return, they hope their house will still look like a home.
KAYE: The Marshburns are leaving the area today, after having just one home-cooked meal in their brand-new kitchen. The saddest part about this, really, is that they didn't have any flood insurance when Hurricane Ivan came rolling through here. They only had hurricane insurance, which didn't cover the flooding in their home.
They now do have flood insurance, but that's only after spending their life savings repairing their home.
Back to you
HARRIS: Boy, a lot of folks lost just about everything. Randi Kaye in Pensacola, at least a few more hours. Randi, thank you.
NGUYEN: Those stories are definitely hard to take, especially hearing that Dennis is headed their way. And we could see some more damage. About what time should Dennis make it to Pensacola, Rob?
MARCIANO: Ah, well, well, pretty right about 30 hours from now.
NGUYEN: OK, (INAUDIBLE).
MARCIANO: Continues on its track, so, you know, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 tomorrow afternoon. But the outer bands are going to get there by sun-up tomorrow. So, I mean, this storm is getting wider. It may not be as strong as it was 24 hours ago, but the field, the wind field has certainly expanded. And all the way up through Tampa, just south of Tampa, we've already had a report of tornado with damage.
So, there is a tornado watch out for this system through the afternoon. Typically, the right, upper-right quadrant is where you see that danger. And look at the size of that watch box that is out till 4:00 this afternoon. It encompasses almost the entire state of Florida.
Here's the storm itself. It heads over Cuba, it weakens, it gets into the Gulf of Mexico, it restrengthens. One-oh-five are the, is the sustained winds, or are the sustained winds. Category two status at this point. And we expect it to maybe strengthen a little bit more. Not likely to strengthen past three.
But the one thing that the National Hurricane Center will tell you is that, you know, intensity is one of these things where, you know, there's a certain amount of uncertainty in this -- without -- needless to say, there's a hurricane warning out for the Steinhatchee River west toward Pearl River across the panhandle of Florida, meaning that hurricane-force winds are expected in the next 24 hours.
And there's your forecast track. That's the latest from here, guys. Back to you.
HARRIS: OK, Rob.
NGUYEN: All right, Rob.
HARRIS: Thank you.
HARRIS: British police officers say the recovery process in the subway is a slow and harrowing one. We'll bring you the latest on the investigation into the London bombings just ahead.
NGUYEN: And do you ever worry that a similar attack on public transportation could happen right here in the U.S.? E-mail us your thoughts at weekends@CNN.com, let us know what you think. We'll be reading those e-mails all morning long.
HARRIS: And right now, new information from authorities in London on their investigation into Thursday's terrorist bombings.
CNN's Jim Clancy is live near the prime minister's Downing Street residence with the latest. Jim?
JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as we look at the situation right now, as the police investigators and as the managing director of the London Underground put it to us, perhaps the most significant piece of data that's coming out is that the evidence appears to be pointing in the direction of timing devices, at least for those three bombs that went off in the underground portion of London's mass transit system.
Why? Because it is now -- when they traced it all back, and interrogated, as they say, all of their electronics, what they found was this, that all three of those blasts occurred literally within seconds of one another.
Now, does that mean it's impossible that it could have been suicide bombers? No. They still could have synchronized their watches and done it that way. But they would say that the evidence right now seems to suggest, and they've said this more clearly than they ever have, that these were timing devices.
Now, they cannot be so sure about that bomb that was on board the bus. It went off about 50, 55 minutes later, and that one that killed 13 people. What they did say about that was that it was in a bag.
Clearly, though, police are not giving up their evidence. They are not going to jeopardize their investigation by releasing this evidence in dribs and drabs. They will tell us only that it's high explosives. They won't say what type of explosive that it really was. They are not saying that they have any suspects in mind.
There was even a question that was asked during that press briefing, Tony, that suggested one of the people in the hospital right now here in London could be -- could be -- one of the people that was involved in planting the bombs. The police said that's pure speculation.
Back to you.
HARRIS: OK, Jim Clancy in London for us. We appreciate it, Jim, that's good stuff. Thank you.
NGUYEN: This does bring us to our e-mail question today. Are you worried that there will be similar attacks right here in the U.S.?
Well, this viewer from Ohio says, "I'm wondering if the terrorists will move to more rural areas, where the mass of protection and detection is somewhat less."
HARRIS: And this from Barbara in Raleigh, North Carolina. "It's not a matter of if there will be a similar attack but when. I believe we already have terrorist cells forming in the United States due to our open-door border policy during the past four years."
We want to thank you all for the e-mail responses so far, and encourage you to send them along. Are you worried there will be similar attacks on the U.S.? Send your responses to us at weekends@CNN.com.
NGUYEN: We're also following Dennis as it continues to gain strength. Folks in Washington are already preparing for the aftermath. We will take you inside FEMA's ready room. That's next hour on CNN SATURDAY MORNING.
HARRIS: But first, a check of headlines now in the news.
And "Now in the News:" Hurricane Dennis is churning its way through the Atlantic, heading into the Gulf of Mexico. The Florida keys are already starting to feel the effects of the storm. Dennis was downgraded from a category four storm overnight, but it's back up to category two, meaning it has winds of around 100 miles per hour. Governors in four states have declared states of emergency.
The hurricane has caused deaths in Cuba and Haiti. Its massive rains have caused flash flooding, roads and bridges have washed away and homes destroyed.
I'm Tony Harris. "HOUSE CALL" begins right now.
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