Category 3 Hurricane Ian hits western Cuba
A father and son fill sandbags on a beach in Tampa, Florida, in preparation for Hurricane Ian.
Hurricane Ian, which became a major category 3 hurricane on Tuesday, made landfall on the west coast of Cuba, the Cuban Meteorological Institute announced, while in the United States, Florida is preparing for be affected in turn.
Hurricane Ian is now in Cuban territory, an Institute meteorologist told state television . The hurricane hit the locality of La Coloma, a fishing village in the province of Pinar del Rio, on the west coast of Cuba, he said.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in the United States announced in its 2:30 a.m. bulletin that Ian had strengthened into a Category 3 major hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale which goes up to ;to 5.
Authorities in the province of Pinar del Rio have indicated that all electricity networks have been cut off as a precaution, according to the official media Cubadebate.
< p class="e-p">Winds began knocking down branches from trees and debris was blown onto streets and backyards of homes by the strong gusts, according to footage carried by state television.
The noise is deafening because of the passing winds, said a television reporter who maintained an uninterrupted news program.
The rains accompanied by wind have already begun to fall on the west of the largest island in the Caribbean, noted AFP.
As of Monday morning, the Cuban Civil Defense issued a cyclone warning for the six westernmost provinces of the island: Pinar del Rio, Artemisa, Havana, Mayabeque, Cienfuegos and Isla de la Juventud, in 340 km south of the capital. The waves were between five and seven meters high.
Authorities evacuated some 50,000 people in Pinar del Rio, 6,000 of them to shelters and the rest to relatives or friends. friends.
In the capital, where 2.1 million people live, long queues have formed to access some food businesses.
Fishermen in Havana have put sheltered their boats before taking refuge in their homes, and residents reinforced their wooden houses.
We have reviewed compliance with measures to deal with Hurricane Ian (…) There is an urgent need to take advantage of these hours before the situation becomes more complicated. Protecting the population is essential, tweeted Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel.
The largest island in the British territory of the Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman, has also issued a hurricane warning .
Danny Aller and his wife Karen board up the windows of their home in Indian Shore, Florida, about 40 miles from Tampa. A state of emergency has been declared in all Florida counties.
“Ian will next emerge over the southeast Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday… and will approach the west coast of Florida on Wednesday and Thursday,” the NHC warned.
A state of emergency has been declared across Florida and the authorities are stepping up preparations.
Tampa International Airport announced it would suspend operations at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Ian will bring heavy rain, high winds, flash flooding and storm surges, as well as isolated tornadoes along Florida's Gulf Coast, Governor Ron DeSantis warned.
He asked residents to stock up and get prepare for power outages, while mobilizing 7,000 National Guard personnel.
United States President Joe Biden has approved federal emergency aid for 24 of Florida's 67 counties. for the Moon, from the Kennedy Space Center located in this southern state of the United States.
In Honduras, more than 12,000 people were evacuated to the north of the country after the floods caused by the rains associated with the passage of Ian, civil protection services announced on Monday.
The rains add to those of the past few weeks which have soaked the ground and resulted in flooding that killed 13 people. A nationwide state of emergency has been declared for 90 days.
Ian comes on the heels of Storm Fiona which tore through Canada's Atlantic coast on Saturday, causing three dead according to a new report, after the Caribbean last week where at least seven people were killed – four in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic and one in Guadeloupe (France).