Cuba, Florida are alert to tropical storm Elsa
Fearing that Tropical Storm Elsa may cause severe flooding after hitting several Caribbean islands, killing at least three people, Cuba is preparing to evacuate people from the southern part of the island on Sunday.
The government opened shelters and took action to protect sugarcane and cocoa crops before the storm. The next target of the storm was Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in 15 counties in Florida. These include Miami-Dade County, where high-rise apartment buildings last collapsed a week.
Elsa is located about 280 kilometers east-southeast of Montego Bay, Jamaica, driving west-northwest at a speed of 28 km/h. According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, its maximum sustained wind speed is 100 km/h.
According to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the storm caused one death in Saint Lucia. At the same time, according to a statement from the Emergency Operations Center, a 15-year-old boy and a 75-year-old woman died in different incidents in the Dominican Republic on Saturday after the wall collapsed.
The first hurricane of the Atlantic season
Elsa has been a Category 1 hurricane until Saturday morning and Friday caused extensive damage to several islands in the eastern Caribbean Sea. This is the first hurricane of the Atlantic season. The hardest hit was Barbados, where more than 1,100 people reported damage to their houses and 62 of them completely collapsed because the government promised to find and fund temporary housing to avoid people gathering in shelters during the pandemic.
According to reports, Haiti also has fallen trees. Due to extensive erosion and deforestation, Haiti is particularly vulnerable to floods and landslides.
The tropical storm warning is effective for Jamaica and from Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, to the southern border with the Dominican Republic. Cuba’s provinces of Camagüey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguín, Las Tunas and Santiago de Cuba issued hurricane observation warnings. Some of these provinces have reported a large number of COVID-19 infections, raising concerns that the storm may force large numbers of people together to seek asylum.
Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami, said that Elsa was the fifth earliest named storm on record, and it also broke the record for the fastest-moving hurricane in the tropics. Arrived at a speed of 50 kilometers per hour on Saturday morning.
It is expected that the rainfall in southern Hispaniola and parts of Jamaica will be reduced by 10 to 20 cm, and the maximum rainfall will reach 38 cm.