After hitting several islands in the Caribbean, Storm Elsa began to hit Cuba this Sunday, a punishment that will last almost two days before continuing its course towards Florida, in the southeastern United States.
“The bands of cloudy, with showers and rains, associated with the circulation of tropical storm Elsa, have begun to cover the eastern region of Cuba,” the Institute of Meteorology (Insmet) reported at 09:00 local time (13:00 GMT).
At that time, Elsa was 216 km southeast of Cabo Cruz, in the eastern province of Granma, the first point in Cuban territory that she must touch and then continue by sea.
“Rainfall will be strong and intense in some locations, mainly in mountainous areas and on the southern coast,” Insmet said, detailing that the storm is now moving at 20 km/h with winds of 100 km/h.
The Civil Defense decreed a “cyclonic alarm” for 11 of the 15 Cuban provinces, where for several days work has been carried out in anticipation of the damage that the meteor may cause.
Elsa arrives at the most complicated moment of the covid-19 pandemic, when the Caribbean island of 11.2 million inhabitants reported this Sunday the record number of 3,519 cases in one day, which accumulates 204,247 cases in 15 months and 14 deaths, bringing the total to 1,351, as of March 2020.
This will be the third cyclone that Cuba will face during the pandemic. Last November it was hit by storm Eta and in August 2020 by Hurricane Laura, without major damage in both cases.
This was not the case in September 2017, when Hurricane Irma affected 13 Cuban provinces for 72 hours and left 10 dead in addition to 158,000 affected homes and 14,000 building collapses.
According to coincident forecasts, Elsa will skirt the south coast this Sunday to “approach the center of Cuba tonight. By Monday, Elsa is expected to move through central and western Cuba and head towards the Straits of Florida.” Noted the US Hurricane Center in the morning.
“A gradual weakening is forecast to occur tonight and Monday as Elsa moves through Cuba. After Elsa emerges over the Straits of Florida and southeast of the Gulf of Mexico, some slight strengthening is possible,” he added.
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