Hurricane Elsa rushes towards Haiti, Dominican Republic
On Saturday, Hurricane Elsa moved towards Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where it threatened to cause floods and landslides before hitting Cuba and Florida.
The Category 1 storm on Saturday was about 815 kilometers southeast of Santo Domingo, moving west-northwest at a speed of 48 kilometers per hour.
According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, its maximum sustained wind speed is 140 kilometers per hour, and it is expected that the hurricane will become a tropical storm after it hits Cuba.
The long-term forecast trajectory shows that by Tuesday morning, it will head towards Florida in the form of a tropical storm, but some models will bring it into the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic coast.
In Haiti, the authorities used social media to alert people to the hurricane and urged them to evacuate if they live near the water or mountainside.
“The entire country is threatened by this hurricane,” the Civil Defense Agency said in a statement. “Make every effort to escape, lest it’s too late.”
Due to extensive erosion and deforestation, Haiti is particularly vulnerable to floods and landslides.
Both Jamaica and Punta Palenque from the capital of Port-au-Prince in Haiti to Punta Palenque in the Dominican Republic have received hurricane warnings. Cuba’s provinces of Camagüey, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguín, Las Tunas and Santiago de Cuba have received 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.
In the neighboring Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, authorities opened more than 2,400 shelters because forecasters warned of heavy rain before dawn on Saturday.
Elsa is expected to fly past the southernmost tip of Hispaniola early on Saturday afternoon before targeting communities in southern Haiti. On Friday, the storm had toppled roofs, destroyed crops, collapsed trees and electrical wires in the Eastern Caribbean. Damage was reported in Barbados, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, which are struggling to recover from large-scale volcanic eruptions. . Start in April.
Elsa is the first hurricane of the Atlantic season and the fifth earliest storm on record. 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.