Tropical Storm Elsa approaches central Cuba and heads toward Florida

Tropical Storm Elsa approaches central Cuba and heads toward Florida

After leaving at least three dead in the Caribbean, Tropical Storm Elsa on Monday advances toward the central coast of Cuba, aiming to head south of Florida at night, dumping torrential rain.

At 2:00 p.m. (Eastern local time), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that Elsa was about 85 miles (140 km) southeast of Havana. It was moving at 14 mph (22 kph) to the northwest, with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph).

Experts estimate it will cross the island Monday night, leaving between 5 and 10 inches of rain and up to 15 inches in designated areas. This will cause major floods and landslides. It is not excluded that the sea level will rise, which may affect the population.

Florida is Elsa’s next destination. Governor Ron DeSantis announced Emergency In 15 counties, including Miami-Dade, The tragic collapse of a building in Surfside occurred on June 24.

sum, More than eight million people are at risk of heavy rains And the winds in Florida.

The US National Weather Service reports that there can be flooding from time to time One or two hurricanes In this case.

A man carries a truck with furniture to move it before the arrival of Storm Elsa, in Havana, Cuba, on July 4, 2021. Photograph: Alexandre Mengini/Reuters

Thousands of evacuees

The Cuban authorities postponed Sunday 180,000 people As a precaution against the possibility of heavy flooding. Most of the evacuees stayed with their relatives, others went to government shelters, and hundreds of those living in mountainous regions took shelter in caves prepared for emergencies.

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The Cuban government also issued Hurricane Warning For the provinces of Cienfuegos and Matanzas and cyclone watch for Camagüey.

[Una temporada de huracanes “más activa de lo normal”: expertos dan su pronóstico para 2021]

The NHC noted that the storm is likely to weaken gradually as it passes through central Cuba, though It is likely to gain strength over the Straits of Florida and the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

In addition, the NHC released a Watching a tropical storm off the west coast of Florida, From Englewood to Aucilla Rivers. And there’s one in effect for the Florida Keys, from Craig Key westward to Ocean Reef.

The likely path of Tropical Storm Elsa.NHC / NOAA

As a Category 1 hurricane as of Saturday morningElsa has caused extensive damage to several islands in the Eastern Caribbean. This was the first hurricane of the Atlantic season. In Barbados, one of the worst-affected islands, more than 1,100 people reported damage to their homes, including 62 homes that collapsed.

Deciduous trees have also been recorded in Haiti, which is particularly vulnerable to flooding and landslides due to widespread erosion and deforestation.

Elsa is the fifth oldest recorded storm and has also broken the record for the fastest hurricane in the tropics, At 31 miles per hour on Saturday morning, Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami, warned.

with information from AP.

Aygen Marsh

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