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Richard Quest Discusses Business. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired September 8, 2017 - 16:00:00   ET


RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: Closing bell (inaudible) on Wall Street. Trading is over with Dow Jones Industrials having been just a smitch during the

course of the day eked out a small gain, right about 15 to 17 points. Trading is now finished. It's all over on Friday, the 8th of September.

Tonight, Irma's deadly march continues across the Caribbean. We're going to bring you the latest forecast on where it's moving next, and we'll look

forward to how it reaches Southern Florida where scrambling is underway to escape as the United States faces a direct hit on that Category 4 storm.

And you had one job, Equifax shares sink after one of history's biggest data breaches. We'll talk about that.

Now live from from the world's financial capital, New York, I'm Richard Quest, where I mean business.

Good evening. Tonight, Hurricane Irma is weaving an unprecedented lethal path through the Caribbean and heading for a direct collision with United

States. So far, 24 people are known to have lost their lives, and island communities, particularly in the Southern Caribbean have been left


The hurricane currently is swelling ominously over the open sea. You can see it here, between Cuba and the Bahamas. The tropical force winds are

covering an area more than twice the size of Austria.

And if that's bad enough, just further down once again in the Southern Caribbean, another hurricane this time, Jose is strengthening right behind,

also likely to reach hurricane force -- of Force 4 (ph) and it sets a good -- and bring further chaos to Caribbean Islands that have already been

devastated, flat and destroyed. It doesn't matter what word you use. They've already felt the full force of Irma. So this is what our

meteorologist thinks is going to happen over the next few days.

Tonight, well, the storm is in the Bahamas, the east -- in the Bahamas and way over into the Eastern Cuba, too.

However, over the next 12 hours or so it will be the northern part of Cuba that will feel the full effect. And as Cuba -- that northern part where

you'll feel the storm surge from the eyewall, but that's not the worst of it just yet because on Sunday here, Florida, Irma goes and hits the

Southern United States and it does so in a way that it comes right up the spine of the state. It runs through Central Florida where although the

storm downgrade it will still have 180-kilometer an hour winds.

And as it moves forward, where where I'm standing, it will reach Georgia. And from Tuesday and Wednesday, you're talking about going even perhaps as

far north as Indiana. But by the time it get to here, of course, it has downgraded quite considerably.

Florida is where everybody is watching at the moment because that is where serious financial devastation and potential injury and loss of life could

take place. CNN Chris Cuomo is in Miami Beach, Florida.

Typical hurricane, Chris, before the storm, beautiful weather, and yet you know, sir, that just south of you a meteorological catastrophe is heading

your way.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CO-ANCHOR: Yes, Professor Quest, we've been saying that this is the beauty that belies the beast that is to come. All this beach

scene is missing is you. We have kite surfers out there, people who are enjoying the day and should not be because this is a mandatory evacuation


Irma is coming. It is no longer an if, according to the experts, but a when. Of course, we'd all love to be wrong, but the closer it comes now to

the Caribbean and towards the Keys, the less variables there are for it to be wrong enough to spare the state, so a downgrade from a 5 to a 4 is a

relative term. It's like going from a punch in the throat to a punch in the face. Either way, it is bad and even a direct hit can still be a very

bad hit and, in some cases, even worse.

So evacuations are mandatory. The governor just said mandatory in certain places, but everyone in the state -- he said everyone, from Jacksonville,

at the northern part, to South Beach, on the southern tip, must be ready to evacuate.

QUEST: Chris, one thought. The -- when -- how many people are staying? I mean, is this -- from -- from the people you've seen, are they taking it

seriously and sufficiently that they are leaving now?

CUOMO: I would say too many, too many are here. Now, first, we want to remove the people who can't leave -- their infirm, their first responders.

They have people to take care of that they couldn't get out. They didn't have the time. They didn't have the money. They didn't have the access.

OK. All of those people, it's not about their control of their choice, but there are a lot of people. They're walking around here. They're enjoying

the beach. And look, it's South Beach. We get the allure of it. We get that a lot of them paid to come here and a lot of them are afraid to leave

their homes, but too many are staying. There has been a shift since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

The culture has evolved, Richard. People take evacuations more seriously. But every expert we've talked to, every level of government has said

there's still going to be more people here than they can handle in the aftermath of these real problems.

QUEST: And I assume you will be staying there throughout the course now. I mean, you're there. It's very difficult to get out. Flights have just

about canceled. You're there for the duration now, Chris.

CUOMO: That's the job. I mean, that's what we signed up for, Richard. And frankly, I know -- thank God -- that my wife and my kids are OK. The

first responders who stay here, their families are here so they're leaving their own loved ones to protect everybody else's, and that's why you have

to think about the responsibility of your choice.

We'll be here. We'll be hunkered down so that people don't have to be here. We'll tell them what happens. We'll tell them what they need to


QUEST: Chris Cuomo, thank you, sir. We'll talk to you a bit more as the days move on. Thank you.

So the chances -- you just heard what Chris says, the chances of a direct hit in the spine of Florida is looking extremely likely.

And Pedram at the World Weather Center, Chris put it very well as he described it. It's a difference between a punch in the face or the neck or

the throat whether you got a hit or not. How bad is this storm?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN WEATHER ANCHOR: You know, it's as prolific as a storm as we've ever seen. And, Richard, just thinking about this region being

very hard-hit typically by tropical system, I was just curious how many tropical storms, how many hurricanes in recorded history -- that means

going back to 1851 -- have impacted this region of the world -- 2,600, a little more than 2,600, not a single one of those 2,600 storms has been as

strong for as long as Irma has, so the intensity is maintained. It's really remarkable by itself.

And you take a look. The southern periphery of the storm is interacting with mountain ranges that are rising to almost 2,000 meters, and it

actually strengthened in the past couple of hours with the National Hurricane Center update taking it up to 250 kilometers per hour, so it

really tells you what a storm we're dealing with across this region.

And the conditions, the environmental conditions especially ahead of it as it enters portions of the Western Caribbean going to be significant enough

for the storm to potentially maintain intensity, maybe go back up a little bit and we're, at this point, sitting a couple of kilometers per hour shy

of a Category 5 but major devastation, of course.

QUEST: Right.

JAVAHERI: .when you look at a storm surge of five to six meters across this region, Richard.

QUEST: Let's talk about that storm surge because the buildings in Southern Florida, I mean, obviously there'll be many houses that won't be able to

withstand this. But we've seen the pictures of the high rises, the condos, the co-ops, the hotels on Miami Beach. They have been built to withstand

the winds. It's the storm surge. Explain please.

JAVAHERI: Absolutely, yes. So the buildings have been built to withstand. We know still about 70 percent of the structures in Miami are pre-1992

structures, which means pre-Andrew structures which, of course, have been reinforced and redesigned since. But when we talk about storm surge, it's

important to note that the vast majority of fatalities related to tropical cyclones are not because of the wind, they're not because of the rain, it

is the storm surge that takes the most lives. It's essentially the ocean ahead of the storm system has been elevated, and that elevation as much as

six, seven meters in spots, of course, in the Caribbean get towards coastal Florida, maybe five meters in places, that would put five meters above

typically dry ground ocean water.

And, Richard, if you were to take a moving box that you would pack while you move from one house to another, fill it water, it would weigh over 700

kilos. Two of those boxes filled with water would weigh more than a vehicle.

When you're talking about several meters of that with motion and energy back behind it, that's why significant destruction. In fact, the storm

system based on some analyst estimations have the potential here with this track to leave behind as much.

QUEST: Right.

JAVAHERI: .as $50 billion in losses.

QUEST: All right, quick question. The -- the -- because I think I'm going to Cyril Vanier next, I am going to Cyril Vanier next in NASA. But before

we get there, he's in the Bahamas, which confirm for me that's where the hurricane is at the moment.

JAVAHERI: Absolutely, yes. So the outer bands of the storm system.

QUEST: Yeah.

JAVAHERI: .are lashing that region. You know, this right or northeastern quadrant, Richard, is the most danger aspect of it and parts on approach to

where Cyril is at this hour.


JAVAHERI: .we'll begin to see some of the strongest winds and some of the rainfall. He's on a more protected side, we're hoping, but, of course,

that region would get some of the hardest winds the storm has to offer right now.

QUEST: All right. Thank you, Pedram. Stay close by in case we need you.


QUEST: .before the end of the program.

Cyril in NASA, in the Bahamas, you're starting to get lashed. Well, you tell what you're seeing please.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, well, Richard, perhaps and surprisingly your timing is pretty good. Over the last few minutes, as I was hearing

you just talk with Chris and Pedram, we're starting to get wet, and the wind has really started to pick up. Occasionally, it can capture off-

balance and, you know, force you to capture balance again.

What's happening here is that we're two hours away in the capital of Nassau from getting the strongest winds that the capital is going to see, but

therein actually lies some encouraging news. If I had spoken to you yesterday, I would have told you, look, the capital is bracing for possibly

the strongest storm in living Bahamian memory certainly in the last 85 years. That is no longer the case. We're not looking at a -- at Category

5 storm force winds right now just because that hurricane is actually moving westward slightly. So what is bad for Cuba is good for the Bahamas.

You've been hearing that the north coast of Cuba is getting lashed. Well, the central to northern part of the Bahamas is on the outer periphery of

those rain bands, so we are going to get tropical storm force winds. And right now I'm seeing a lot of storms gather over us. The wind, as I was

telling you, was picking up as is the rain, but it looks like the capital. What is important is the biggest population center, about 250,000 people

here, is not going to get the super strong winds that -- that were a possibility yesterday.

QUEST: All right. Thank you, Cyril. Stay safe please. I mean, I see you're in Nassau, and come back when those winds do a get a bit more.

The devastations out in the Caribbean is only just becoming clear. Many islands are barely habitable. The Red Cross says more than a million

people have been directly impacted so far.

And one interesting note about the course is it's France, Britain, the Netherlands and the United States, they are intimately and historically

connected to the islands and territories throughout the Caribbean because, of course, they are traditional colonial, somewhat say territories.

The British -- the RAF is delivering aid to the British overseas territory of Anguilla. Theresa May, the British prime minister has pledged more than

$40 million in emergency relief.

The French and the Dutch governments, while the two countries share the island of St. Maarten, or Saint-Martin, and they're concerned about serious

looting, reports of televisions being stolen from shops. The French officials are calling for calm and for public order.


(UNKNOWN): The biggest emergency is the question of health. The water and food supplies will start arriving and then there is public order. We need

to restore public order to Saint-Martin. I was out this morning and this afternoon, and there was looting right there in front of me. There is a

strange mood at the moment, so we need to think about public order.


QUEST: Jeremy Konyndyk is the former director of Foreign Disaster Assistance at USAID joins me now from Washington.

Jeremy, obviously, you're familiar with a similar grand scale because obviously the USAID helps in many situations. But these territories, the

French in Saint-Martin, the British with Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos, the U.S. with Puerto Rico as a territory (ph), these are, to some extent,

geopolitical entities, aren't they where a foreign country or other countries, countries far away have responsibility for these small islands?

JEREMY KONYNDYK, FORMER USAID DIRECTOR: Well, the positive aspect of that is that there is someone then who's clearly in the lead. So you have each

of the -- each of the respective wealthy countries can bring a lot of resources to bear and has clear responsibility for waiting on the

assistance. And so militaries from all of these countries have been deploying to the region. The U.S. has been deploying naval ships helping

with Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

We just had video of the RAF deployments into the British territories. So it actually, in some ways, helps organize and create a response.

QUEST: I was about to say, well, I mean, whatever one might think of the - - of the political structures that made this possible, it does ensure that there are wealthy countries that can bring those resources in.

KONYNDYK: Absolutely.

QUEST: .compared to some of those Caribbean islands that will be seriously needing foreign overseas aid.

KONYNDYK: That's right. And -- and for the -- you know, for the islands that are not connected with or part of a territory of a western -- a

western power, there will be assistance coming in as well.

USAID, the office that I used to lead, has launched the Disaster Assistance Response Team, has placed personnel on numerous of these islands across the

Caribbean and they are now, as the storm passes through, they are gearing up to provide assistance, assess damage, call in whatever is needed.

I think what's -- it's ironic to say this in a way, but it -- this storm has been -- and much of the -- much of the region has been pretty lucky

with the track of the storm. It hasn't made landfall on some of the larger islands, and the places where it's made landfall have generally been some

of the smaller ones. We'll see where it goes now with Cuba. But -- but so far it's really threaded the needle of some of the larger islands and some

of the larger population centers in the region, so the damage has not been the sort of worst-case that we were -- we're fearing it might be a few days


QUEST: And -- and as you look at -- I mean, like USA, you have enormous experience of dealing with these things. I guess, Jeremy, you can sort of

repair the roof of a house. You can put sort of the building back together, but how do you repair the lives that have been completely

uprooted as a result. Is that possible?

KONYNDYK: It's -- it's possible, but it's not quick. The -- the relief effort that we will see over the next few weeks and the next month or so in

these islands and, you know, similar -- similar in the U.S. as well actually, we'll focus on getting people stabilize, people who have been

displaced from their homes, ensuring that they have some reliable shelter that they can turn to that they have some of their basic needs covered.

And that's good. That keeps them alive. It keeps them healthy in the immediate aftermath when they're very, very vulnerable.

But as you say the tougher thing is what do you do with this long-term rebuilding. And unfortunately, that's an area where we tend not to see the

level of funding come through internationally that we would see domestically. So in the U.S., you know, Congress just passed a major aid

package for post Harvey recovery. I anticipate they'll do something similar now for Irma once we see what the damage from that is in Florida

and beyond.

On the international side, you see a lot of.

QUEST: Right.

KONYNDYK: ...upfront resources for their response far less for their recovery traditionally (ph).

QUEST: Jeremy, thank you for joining us, giving us the perspective on that. I appreciate it.

KONYNDYK: Thank you, pleasure.

QUEST: As we come back in just a moment, we're going to go from the hurricane to extraordinary story, the personal information of 140 million

Americans has been breached after Equifax got hacked. Now it's not the largest hack ever, however, as I'm going to show you, it does appear to be

one of the most serious and potentially dangerous on those involved.

It's Quest Means Business. Good evening.


QUEST: In a market that was otherwise quiet, Equifax, their shares plummeted on Wall Street down some 13%. Not surprising, the company said

it suffered a massive hack and exposed some of the most sensitive information of nearly half the U.S. population. Equifax is one of only

three American credit reporting agencies. They track and rate consumers' financial history.

Now, Equifax gets data from credit card companies, banks, retailers, lenders and usually and frequently without customers even knowing, and it

provides a score as to your credit rating, which is then used to determine interest rates or indeed whether you're even going to be able to get a loan

or borrow money or indeed buy a house or a car, or even rent a house.

Now, let's put this hack into perspective, and I'm going to show you why this is truly devastating and truly different.

So at the moment, Yahoo! holds the record for the biggest swag bag of information that's been taken, over a billion accounts in the Yahoo!

Equifax was considerably smaller, only 143 only million accounts were hacked. However, its size doesn't matter here because in Yahoo's case, all

they got were basically names and passwords -- that was it -- and maybe some of those minor details, but you didn't get anything else.

With the Equifax, now you're talking. Equifax, look at the treasure trove of information that was received. You're talking about driver's licenses,

crucial in this country as a form of identification. How about this? Social security numbers, absolutely essential; bank credit card

information, detailed information, even things like medical records and birth certificates. In fact, it was the prospect of losing medical records

that now have people so concerned. The treasure trove of information in this particular breach is extraordinary.

This Equifax chief executive issues an apology and promises the company will respond with help for customers.


RICHARD SMITH, EQUIFAX CHAIRMAN AND CEO: This is clearly a disappointing event, and one that strike at the heart of who we are and what we do. I

deeply regret this incident. I apologize to every affected consumer and all of our partners. Today is a humbling experience for all of us.

Equifax will not be defined by this incident, but rather by how we respond.


QUEST: Unfortunately, how they're responding is also causing huge amounts of criticism because to get help from Equifax, to deal with the problem

that they've helped create, it's asking for people to put in their social security information just to see if you've been affected.

Now, you can see why they need it to make sure it's you. But however, that information is exactly the sort of information that was taken in the first

place. And remember that 13% fall in the share price. Whoa, this is a goodie.

Three of the company's top officials didn't get hit -- the chief financial officer and two other senior executives. There they are -- this president

of U.S. Information Solutions, the CFO and the president of Workforce Solutions -- they sold nearly $2 million worth of shares after the breach

was discovered, but before it was announced.

Equifax says that these guys didn't know about the hack. It's hard to understand how an issue of this magnitude the president of the U.S.

Information Solutions and the chief financial officer did not know about this situation. It makes you wonder.

Let's talk about this with Jose Pagliery who joins us from CNN Money.

First question to you, you heard me go through the amount of data. Is it as serious as that?

JOSE PAGLIERY, CNN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Yes, it's miserable and here is why. Consider who lost this information, the very firm that other firms go

to to verify that you are who you are, to judge you based on your past information, your past behavior. This is supposed to be the treasure

trove, the bank that holds this private information and guards it jealously. And they are the ones who lost it. And the response to that

now is to force people to come in and give more information so that they can protect you a second time. This is extremely valuable stuff.

Social Security numbers are extremely sensitive, but so are driver's license numbers. This now gives hackers the ability to sell this on the

black market and others can buy this, put this on a fake ID. If they get pulled over and they show a police officer that ID, it's you who the police

are looking for, not them.

QUEST: How easy is it though? I mean, the hack was obviously a sophisticated hack, one imagines that -- one would hope that Equifax

doesn't sort of have -- have left the key in the front door or left it under the mat. However, how easy is it to sell this sort of stuff? And

once you.

PAGLIERY: Extremely.

QUEST: .and once you sold it for somebody to make use -- if you give -- if you give me this with 140 million names, I wouldn't even know where to

begin of who to take first.

PAGLIERY: So the black market is actually very well-developed. They know what to do with this information. They know how to resell names, dates of

birth, medical records, credit cards, oh, yeah. It's -- it happens in minutes. Once you have that, you can put that block in the market and

people buy it up, and then they portion out in tiny blocks and sell that to criminals, too. Fraudsters know how to do this. This is a very well-

developed market.

The problem here is you can change a password, right? When a company loses your passwords and usernames, you can change that account information.

We're not going to change our birthdays or our Social Security numbers. Americans are not going to suddenly turn in their driver's licenses and get

other driver's license cards back. These numbers matter. That's how the government tracks you.


PAGLIERY: That's how you apply to open bank accounts and get loans.

QUEST: Right. One would imagine that in relatively short order, if -- you know, we will start to see stories of people say their identities have been



QUEST: Will it be couple of years before this sort of material drifts out?

PAGLIERY: This could start happening immediately, but the problem is connecting the dots, right? It's going to be hard to connect the dots from

this breach to the fraudulent crimes that occur that ruin people's lives. And that's actually why companies.

QUEST: Right.

PAGLIERY: .keep getting away with losing this information because they're not forced to actually adequately pay for doing so.

We have at least one Congressman who's asking really tough questions of the three credit bureaus, why did they lose this? These are the firms that are

supposed to guard this information. This is the worst-case scenario for data.

QUEST: Good to see you, Jose. Thank you. We'll talk more about this next week.

U.S. stocks closed at AMEX an hour became early losses. It closed with a gain of 13 points. NASDAQ and the S&P, they had losses. The U.S. Dollar

Index fell to a 33-month low. It was the twin threats of Hurricane Irma and the possibility of a missile launch from North Korea that sent that

down. Saturday marked North Korea's founding day.

Look at the way the dollar has fallen. You can see that on the gray-shaded part on the right, the Dollar Index, DXY, has fallen.

As developments from Harvey and Irma pile up, Congress is keeping the money taps (ph) open. It was 316 to 90 the vote, and the House approved measures

to provide the relief, raising their ceiling, keep the government open for three months.

The President is expected to sign the bill today. CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is on Capitol Hill for us tonight. Now I'm -- you know, each bit of that

bill had some extraordinary machinations and complexities to get there, throw them all together and there was an interesting bill.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: And it was -- it was a bill amazing, Richard, here that the president, he pushed forward, going against his own

party but with the Democrats he is now calling them by their first names, Chuck and Nancy, these days. But this was like an extraordinary week in

terms of how this all happened because what he did was he took raising the debt ceiling, funding the government, extending that for three months and

putting that in with the hurricane aid and really getting some political cover to his own party but also going against his own party.

The deal was is that many Republicans wanted 18 months for that debt ceiling to be increased so they wouldn't have to deal with it during

midterm elections and have it politically be really kind of difficult for them. And then the conservative Republicans who wanted something in

exchange for the debt ceiling hike that more credit, if you will, like some spending cuts, that didn't happen. The president sent with the democratic

leadership who said, "We're going to do this three-month extension here and we're going to tie it to the hurricane relief." This has infuriated,

helped some in his own party, and others seem to be going along with it. They had to go along with it because of the political pressure and also the

expediency here.

You have many, many people who are suffering and need this, and so you have House Speaker Paul Ryan who had called the ridiculous plan just the hour

before the president agreed to it to now signing this today. And it's not called, there's nothing about debt or aid or anything like that, it's

called Harvey Aid Legislation. You'll see a photo of him signing it there, emphasizing the bipartisan nature of all of this and that the fact that the

American people want the Congress to get.

QUEST: Right.

MALVEAUX: .something done, and this is a way to do it. But I do went through the list until - here's one of the Republicans who was very angry

about how this all went down.

QUEST: Thank you.


(UNKNOWN): So the idea that we're voting against relief is absurd. Everyone in that room was going to vote for that. Everyone in the room

knows you're not going to default on treasuries, right? So that's intellectually insulting, right? All we were asking for is a comma (ph).

We're going to do something about the $20 trillion in debt going on the next generation, so yes, I'm hugely frustrated.


MALVEAUX: And, Richard, one thing that didn't help the administration but they tried at least, I was meeting with the House members before that vote

today and saw their Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and also the Budget Chief Mick Mulvaney behind closed doors with these Republicans saying let's

go for this thing. Mulvaney is saying here that -- not Mulvaney rather Mnuchin saying, "Do it for me, vote for me." And they were just really

angry about that. But the bottom line here is that this is just a down payment on what is going to be necessary for this hurricane relief. We're

talking about $16 billion. Now they anticipate just for.

QUEST: All right. So.

MALVEAUX: .Harvey alone. It's going to be more than $120 billion, and we don't know what Irma is going to bring.

QUEST: Suzanne Malveaux, keep watching on the Capitol Hill for us. And when there's more there, please come back to us. Thank you.

MALVEAUX: OK, thank you.

QUEST: Residents of Southern Florida are streaming north as Irma approaches. State officials warning time is running out for those who

weren't on the road yet. We're going to Miami and we'll track (inaudible).


QUEST: I'm Richard Quest. There's a lot more of Quest Means Business in just a moment. We arrive in Florida as Miami prepares for direct hit from

Hurricane Irma and the head of IATA tells me how airlines can maneuver around unpredictable situations in North Korea.

You're watching CNN. And on this network, the news always comes first.

Mexico is recovering from the strongest earthquake it experienced in a century. It's an 8.1 magnitude quake and at least 58 people are known to

have died. Two of the country's most impoverished areas on the southern coast where around nine million people live likely hit the hardest.

Hurricane Irma spreading westward over parts of Cuba and the Bahamas and you'd expect the trail of destructions being left behind.

Southern Florida is likely to be next where it's a Category 4 storm that arrives this weekend. Millions of people are scrambling to get out of the

way. It could be one of the largest evacuations in U.S. history.

And if that's not bad enough, forecasters say Hurricane Jose has now strengthened to an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm. The hurricane

watchers are in effect for some of the same islands that have just been hit by Irma. And Jose is expected to move west-northwest into the Atlantic

Ocean in the coming days.

Hurricane Irma is cutting a lethal path through the Caribbean. Hundreds of thousands of Floridians are clogging the highways and airports, scrambling

to get away from the storm before it's too late. Huge swathe of Florida are now under mandatory evacuation orders. The state's governor says all

Floridians should be prepared to leave.

CNN's Kyung Lah is tracking the developments in Miami.

Kyung Lah, the -- those very large buildings behind you, they are of our concern not because of the wind but because of the storm surge, am I right?

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right. What they're concerned about is flooding and the risk of people being trapped in the

storm surge and potentially drowning. That's why we're hearing from the Miami Beach Police Department that people should get out today.


LAH: Hurricane Irma, now careening towards Florida, expected to make landfall over the weekend.

(UNKNOWN): The roof is about the come, yeah, there it is.

LAH: .leaving catastrophic damage and a rising death toll throughout the Caribbean in its wake.

(UNKNOWN): This storm is wider than our entire state and is expected to cause major and life-threatening impacts from coast to coast.

LAH: Residents in Miami-Dade County waiting in long lines for shelters and boarding up their properties, filling sandbags to help protect against the

expected three to ten-foot storm surges despite mandatory evacuations, some saying they will hunker down and wait it out.

(UNKNOWN): Do not put yourself or your family at risk. If you've been ordered to evacuate and are still home, please go to a shelter.

LAH: But as millions of Floridians do try to escape the storm's path, airports and roads are jammed.

(UNKNOWN): We got boarding passes and everything, and no calls back. You get here and the planes have been canceled.

LAH: Airlines increased flights to Miami and other nearby airports to help with demand, but many airlines' last outbound flights are scheduled today.

And the mass exodus from South Florida, potentially one of the largest evacuations in U.S. history is causing heavy traffic on interstates and

long lines at gas stations, but police escorted gas trucks to refill empty pumps.

(UNKNOWN): Now I'm taking this seriously because I realized that it's twice the size of Andrew. It's -- it's -- it's too much not to, you know,

put my family at risk.

LAH: Florida isn't the only state making preparations. Georgia and the Carolinas have declared states of emergency mandatory evacuations in

Georgia along the coast starting Saturday.

(UNKNOWN): This is a complex forecast. Anybody from Alabama to North Carolina should be watching this storm very closely.

LAH: Now back here live along the Miami Beach skyline, what you see here is what people love about Miami Beach. It's the high rises, it's glitzy.

And for the last decade or so, it has been booming with development and therein is the risk here.

I want you to look, Richard, at this black and white photo. It is from 1925, and you can see it's a dramatically different place. This was one

year before the Category 4 storm that hit in 1926. There has been a population boom here in Miami Beach since Hurricane Andrew of 35 percent.

And when we talk to people in Miami Beach, Richard, what you're hearing from them is that there is a lot of flooding. There is flooding even when

it's sunny. So for them they are very aware that there is a storm surge to contend with as is the police reminding people that if they are caught in

it, the -- the biggest risk during a hurricane is drowning in that storm surge.


QUEST: It brings it all to perspective. Thank you, Kyung Lah.

And the irony, of course, on all of this is that the weather is all -- you always see this with these stories that the weather is so perfect in the

days before, I mean, classically and the -- the good weather before the storm.

The other major story that we're following for you here at CNN, 58 people are now confirmed to have died with an earthquake that hit the southern

coast of Mexico late on Thursday. And the President of Mexico, Nieto, says the 8.1 magnitude quake was felt by 50 million people, the strongest to hit

Mexico in a century.

(Alexander Valle) is live for us in Mexico City. How far were they able to -- where was it felt? Give me an idea of the -- the extent of this.

(UNKNOWN): Just to give you a picture there, Richard, some of the waves here of this earthquake were felt by close to 50 million people throughout

the country here. There is concern that these tsunami waves could potentially be seen as far as New Zealand, possibly Ecuador as well. So

clearly, authorities are taking a close eye on the location, about 700 kilometers south of where we are here in Mexico City where people really

had a terrible wakeup call that this massive earthquake, this catastrophic earthquake that woke up many people here overnight.

A system of alarms that's set-up throughout the city was blaring out, waking people up and really that order to evacuate. Impressive, too, that

you might to be able to make out the iconic Angel of Independence behind me here in Mexico City a symbol of Mexico's independence here, it was swaying

yesterday because of that earthquake.

And while there was some damage here in Mexico City, Richard, a bulk of that devastation and sadly most of the deaths we saw about 700 kilometers

south of here in the Mexican states of Oaxaca and also in Chiapas. These are some states that not only are some of the most susceptible to these

earthquakes, but they are also some of the most impoverished. So that's where the reasons why we have seen dozens of deaths there.

QUEST: Right.

(UNKNOWN): .including some of the municipal buildings there where people were trapped and, of course, those rescue operations are ongoing, Richard.

QUEST: One quick question, it's unsavory to ask, but, you know, we've covered enough earthquakes in my time to know that the death toll, the

number of people who died usually rises as they get further and further, particularly in poor countries. Are we -- are the authorities expecting

that 58 number to rise appreciably?

(UNKNOWN): It's certainly something that they expect, Richard, because many of these communities are fairly remote. There are a lot of fishing

villages along the coast, and so as authorities have been scouring through some of these villages, then there is that concern that that number could

rise as we've seen really just the last hour. That's the most recent update that came in about 30 minutes ago of close to 60 people dead.

And sadly, as you just mentioned, Richard, that is likely to grow especially given the intensity of this. This was not only stronger than

what we witnessed here in 1995, but it also caused more damage in some parts of the country.

QUEST: Thank you.

(UNKNOWN): .and not here though.

QUEST: Yeah, thank you very much. Keep -- again come back at the moment that there's more to tell us.


QUEST: In hurricanes and earthquakes, one is enough. Japan is warning of a possible missile test from North Korea this weekend.

Well, the head of the world's air transport association says those missile launches pose big problems for airlines. Alexandre de Juniac next. It's

Quest Means Business on a Friday. Good evening.


QUEST: South Korea and Japan say they're on the highest alert for a possible missile test from North Korea this weekend as Pyongyang is marking

a national holiday. Meanwhile, the airline association, IATA, is pleading for North Korea to sound the alarm ahead of its test, warning where the

missile or when, at least, the missile test is going to take place.

In July, a North Korean missile crossed the flight path of an Air France large, wide-body jet. IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac told me

that the airline industry needed communication from Pyongyang.

ALEXANDRE DE JUNIAC, IATA DIRECTOR GENERAL: What we want and what we are aiming at is to have, of course, a safe airspace. And so to -- to be

informing the events of any firing tests or missile tests to define the proper routes and the proper airspace in which aircraft can fly safely,

that's the rule we are -- we are using and adopting everywhere in the world. And up to now, it has been -- it has been efficient, so we will put

all our pressure, all our influence to make the North Korean government and ICAO to talk and to be able to define a safe airspace for civilian


QUEST: It's quite an extraordinary situation, isn't it when we get to this sort of stage of affairs? Would you agree?

DE JUNIAC: Yes, of course. Saying that it's totally extraordinary would be a bit too far because we have warzones already in place. And we have no

fly zones already in place in the world, so it's not that unknown situation. But we have to say that the emergencies are probably higher in

this case.

QUEST: Turning to Brexit and the deadline gets ever closer, and the rhetoric is now being ratcheted up, RINA (ph) is deeply concerned of what

it sees as the slow pace and the possibility of shutting off the U.K. from the rest of Europe. Are you as worried?

DE JUNIAC: As you know, as IATA, what we are advocating is to maintain the connectivity between the U.K. and the E.U., and the U.K. and the rest of

the world, of course, because if there is nothing happening after the Brexit, if no agreement is reached on civil aviation, the traffic lights of

U.K.-based company in Europe would be canceled and the right to do cabotage in Europe would be also canceled. And some benefits that the U.K. have

coming from E.U. and other party agreement, open sky agreements such as the U.S. would also disappear.

So the need for an agreement in civil aviation, if we want to maintain connectivity is absolutely key for U.K.-based airline but also for European

airlines if they want to fly into the U.K.

QUEST: Time is getting short.

DE JUNIAC: So we are pushing for that.

QUEST: Right, time is short. Are you starting to get worried?

DE JUNIAC: You know, we are not totally surprised that at this stage the negotiation are not finished because we are -- we are -- we are the

beginning. But what we say that this negotiation should move forward, and if the agreement could be reached between now and the beginning of 2018,

that would be nice.

QUEST: The way in which Air Berlin went bankrupt and the -- and they're now pouring over the assets of Air Berlin, which probably looks like

Lufthansa will get most of them, Lion Air is against it. Are you satisfied that the level playing field for all IATA members has been maintained when

it comes to Air Berlin?

DE JUNIAC: You know, we are never -- first of all, as IATA and as a -- the trade association for airlines, we are never satisfied when an airline and

one of our members is bankrupt, of course, first.

Secondly, what we say is -- as everywhere, the situation has to be very closely monitored from an IATA point of view, for instance, to be able, you

know, to ensure that the ticket that have been sold are effectively delivered.

And thirdly that the legal framework under which this process is undertaken in Germany should be -- should be the most open, and fair and -- possibly.

And -- and we are sure it will be, and the -- and that the level playing field will be open, and fair and equal for all our -- all our members and

all our airlines in this sector in general.

QUEST: Alexandre de Juniac joining me during the week, in Europe it was an expedition to the end of the trade. We look at the FUTC. The worse, the

performance of FUTC was down three-quarter of a percent -- I do beg your pardon. The euro is continuing to rally nearing a three-year high against

the dollar on the back of better economic growth in the eurozone.

As we continue tonight, airlines are closing up shop early in Miami. In fact, American Airlines is due to run its last flight in the next couple of

hours. And then the final flight will depart the airport, and all these people, if they have not got on board, a ticket or a plane, well, that's

the question after the break.


QUEST: There's only a few hours left to get to a flight out of Miami before Hurricane Irma hit. This image from Flight Radar shows -- now it is

passing -- I mean, this is obviously the whole of United States, but this part here, it shows more than 300 flights leaving Florida's airports

between Orlando and Miami, which (inaudible) is about there.

The vast majority are heading to the north. You can also see complete lack, actually I would imagine, of any form of flights down towards except

these one or two to three, four down there, all of which is an indication because what's going to happen is the American Airlines as it's going to

stop all its flying from Miami this afternoon. And as the days move on, so we'll move up towards West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and indeed right the

way up to Orlando.

For the islands already hit in the Caribbean, it's not about getting planes out, it's about getting rescue planes in. Rolando Brison, the director of

Tourism for St. Maarten, he joins me now on the line.

Sir, good to hear -- good to see you, sir. Thank you. A question, how -- how bad is the situation post the -- the hurricane coming through? We've

heard talk of looting. We heard talk of a certain law and order issues. What can you tell me about the situation?

ROLANDO BRISON, DIRECTOR OF TOURISM FOR ST. MAARTEN: Yeah, the situation is -- is indeed very bad. I think we've buttoned up better control on it

now. There was some issues enforcing the curfew in the beginning, but I believe that the Marines and the police have (inaudible) sides of the

island have been able to manage that. The curfew is now fully enforced, and I believe that any situations of looting from what I understand and so

on have -- have ended thank God.

QUEST: Right, OK. That's a -- that's a blessing in a sense. In terms of the damage, I need you to -- I mean, I'm looking at pictures of it, but I'm

not sure that the -- that the video fully gives the gravitas, the extremity of it. What is it like, sir?

BRISON: You know, the way we describe it is that we don't even recognize St. Maarten anymore. It's not what it used to be, our beautiful island.

It's always going to be a beautiful island for us, but we do recognize that a lot of -- a lot of things are gone. Buildings are gone. We have a lot

of work to do to be able to even get back to where we were.

It's -- it's hard on -- on people, you know, their homes, businesses, of course, are in a lot of trouble. Major hotels have -- have basically been

written off because it's just.

QUEST: Right.

BRISON: .really a terrible situation in terms of that. We -- we did manage to get most tourists out before -- before the hurricane came, but we

do have some.

QUEST: Right.

BRISON: . still on the island and we've done our best to situate them. But yes, it is.


BRISON: .it is really, really words can't describe.

QUEST: And the governments of obviously France and -- and the Netherlands are sending -- are sending help as fast as they can, I assume.

BRISON: Yes, we are -- I mean, right now and -- and one of the reasons I'm really grateful to CNN to -- to give me this opportunity to tell the world

that yes, we do need help. We are happy to get any help that we can in any form. The Dutch government is really helping us quite a lot on the ground,


We are working very hard to get the airport open, but we need to get the message out there especially to airlines. We need you to stay in touch

with us so that, particularly myself as a -- as a point person to mediate and -- and organize when this airport is going to be open. It was.

QUEST: Right.

BRISON: .opened briefly for.

QUEST: Right.

BRISON: .a while today (ph). We're not there yet, but we need.

QUEST: All right.

BRISON: .them to contact us.

QUEST: Finally I'll mention briefly, sir, I want to look to the future. Let's end on a -- on a -- on a more optimistic note. You've got to get.


QUEST: .tourism back. I assume even as you -- even as you count the debris and deal with the wreckage, you're thinking about what next for your

tourists to come back next year.

BRISON: Yes, we are. And, you know, it's a difficult position for me as - - as a director of Tourism to really, you know, keep my mind on the fact that, yes, we are in a disastrous situation, but I do have to think on

behalf of our government and think what are we going to do to keep our economy back because that is ultimately what it going to benefit our

people. Tourism is 90 percent of our GDP.

We depend fully on tourism to survive. It's going to take quite some time to bring it back. But we've been here before. We've had several


QUEST: Right.

BRISON: .equally catastrophic, and we think.

QUEST: Right.

BRISON: .we can get back.

QUEST: Minister (ph), thank you for joining us. I wish you well and we'll talk more on more optimistic notes in the future. Thank you very much


And I'm going to leave you with where we are at the moment. This is where the hurricane is just between Cuba and the Bahamas. Northern Cuba gets it

in a couple of hours. Devastation further south, but keep your eye on where it's going next, Miami in Southern Florida. That's right the way up

through Southern Florida is where it will tow in the hours ahead.

And that's Quest Means Business. I am Richard Quest. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, please stay safe.