Hurricane Ian, which became a major Category 3 hurricane on Tuesday, hit the west coast of Cuba, the Cuban Meteorological Agency announced, while in the United States, Florida was preparing to hit in turn.
“Hurricane Ian is now in Cuban territory,” a company meteorologist told state television. The hurricane hit La Coloma, a fishing village in Pinar del Río province on Cuba’s west coast.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in the United States announced in its 2:30 a.m. bulletin (8:30 a.m. in Switzerland) that it had strengthened to a Category 3 “major hurricane” on the Ian Saffir-Simpson scale. At 5 o’clock.
50,000 were evacuated
Authorities in Pinar del Rio province indicated that “all electricity networks have been disconnected” as a precaution, official media outlet Cubadebate reported. According to footage broadcast by state television, the wind began tossing branches from trees and debris was blown into streets and backyards by violent gusts.
“The sound of passing wind is deafening,” said a TV reporter who hosted the Uninterrupted News program. AFP noted that the west of the largest island in the Caribbean has already started to receive windy rain.
read more: Florida and Cuba await Ian, while Fiona kills two in Canada
As of Monday morning, the Cuban Civil Defense had issued a “hurricane warning” for the island’s six western provinces: Pinar del Río, Artemisa, Havana, Mayabeque, Cienfuegos and Isla de la Juventud, 340 km south of the capital. The waves reached a height of five to seven meters.
Authorities evacuated about 50,000 people in Pinar del Rio, including 6,000 to shelters and the rest to relatives or friends. In the capital of 2.1 million people, long queues have formed to access some food stalls. Havana fishermen sheltered their boats before taking refuge in their houses, and residents fortified their wooden houses.
Revisamos complimento de las medidas para fentrant el #HuracánIan. Los Provinces Hon Ido Complendo Todas Los In… https://t.co/ejenvFFaPl
— DiazCanelB (@Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez)January 26, 2022
“We have reviewed compliance with measures to deal with Hurricane Ian (…) It is urgent to take advantage of these hours before the situation becomes critical. It is necessary to protect the people,” Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel tweeted.
Florida is on alert
Grand Cayman, the largest island in the British Cayman Islands territory, has issued a hurricane warning. “Ian will emerge in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday (…) and approach the west coast of Florida on Wednesday and Thursday,” the NHC warned. A state of emergency has been declared across Florida and officials have stepped up preparations.
Tampa International Airport said it would suspend operations at 5 p.m. (11 p.m. in Switzerland) on Tuesday. Governor Ron DeSantis warned that Ian “will cause heavy rainfall, high winds, flash flooding and storm surge, as well as isolated hurricanes along Florida’s Gulf Coast.”
He asked residents to prepare for power outages and prepare for power outages while mobilizing 7,000 members of the National Guard. US President Joe Biden has approved federal emergency aid for 24 of Florida’s 67 counties.
NASA has scrapped Tuesday’s planned launch of a new mega rocket to the moon from the Kennedy Space Center in this southern US state.
In Honduras, civil protection services announced Monday that more than 12,000 people have been evacuated to the north of the country due to flooding caused by rains associated with the Ian column.
read more: Hurricane Fiona makes landfall in Puerto Rico, plunging into darkness
13 people lost their lives due to the rains in the last few weeks which resulted in waterlogging of the land and floods. A state of emergency has been declared across the country for 90 days.
Hurricane Fiona hit Canada’s Atlantic coast on Saturday, killing three people, according to a new report, and at least seven more after the Caribbean last week – four in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic and one in Guadeloupe (France) .
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