Hurricane Ian LIVE in Cuba | Powerful category 3 cyclone makes landfall in western Cuba | State of emergency declared throughout Florida | NHC | Windy | United States | WORLD

The strengthened in the last hours to category 3, made landfall early Tuesday with strong winds in the coastal town of La Coloma in western reported the Cuban Institute of Meteorology. “Hurricane Ian is already over Cuban territory,” said a meteorologist from the institute during the special broadcast on state television, specifying that “the outer wall is on the coast of the province of Pinar del Río, in La Coloma,” a fishing village of about 7,000 inhabitants.


Local authorities reported that “due to the passage of the hurricane Ian through our territory all the circuits” of Pinewood of the river“they are without electricity,” said Cubadebate, an official news portal.

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As of early morning some 38,000 people had been evacuated in Pinewood of the riverwhere the authority plans to relocate some 50,000 to shelters or houses of relatives or friends.

Waves rise under a dark sky along the coast of Batabano, Cuba. / AP/Ramon Espinosa

Shortly before Ian made landfall in Cubathe United States National Hurricane Center (NHC)or went up to category 3adding that the storm registers winds of 185 kilometers per hour, with maximums of up to 200 km / h.

Ian should then continue on to Florida, in the southern United States.

“The sound is deafening”

The winds knocked down branches of trees and other objects that have flown in the streets and in the patios of the houses, according to images broadcast on television.

The path of Hurricane Ian.  (HNC).
The path of Hurricane Ian. (HNC).

“The sound is deafening due to the passage of the winds”, a journalist told state television’s uninterrupted broadcast to report on the cyclone.

In Saint John and Martineza neighboring municipality and an important producer of tobacco leaf for cigars, the tobacco growers took extreme precautions to protect seedbeds and cover the stored leaves with plastic, preventing them from being damaged.

During the afternoon the Civil Defense declared the “alarm” phase in the provinces of Pinar del Río, Artemisa and in the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud, in the west, where strong tidal waves and floods were recorded, with waves between five and seven meters.

A crane helps to remove small boats from the Bay of Havana, in Cuba, on September 26, 2022. (YAMIL LAGE / AFP).
A crane helps to remove small boats from the Bay of Havana, in Cuba, on September 26, 2022. (YAMIL LAGE / AFP).

This authority also declared a cyclonic alert for the provinces. Havana, Mayabeque, Matanzasin the west, and in Hundred firesin the center of the country.

In the capital, of 2.1 million inhabitants, at night there were rains in almost the entire city.

During Monday, Havanans made long queues to get some food. Fishermen from the coast made their boats safe before taking refuge in their homes.

“The government is taking all the precautions to start the evacuation due to the cyclone, it is removing all the vulnerable people stuck to the river,” Doraima Vivas, a 42-year-old pensioner who lives in El Fanguito, a neighborhood embedded in the coast, told AFP. of the Almendares River, which runs through the west of the capital. Neighbors reinforced her makeshift wooden houses.

Storm Ian.  (US National Hurricane Center).
Storm Ian. (US National Hurricane Center).

In front of the Malecón in Havana, a gang of workers protected the front windows of a central gas station, previously hit by these natural phenomena, with wooden panels.

“We review compliance with the measures to face #HurricaneIan (…) It is urgent to make the most of these hours before the situation becomes more complex. The protection of the population is essential,” said President Miguel Díaz-Canel on Twitter.

Heavy rain and wind

In the US state of Florida the inhabitants are also preparing for the imminent arrival of the cyclone, after an alert of hurricane of NHC for their costs.

The Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantisdeclared a state of emergency in 67 counties and the authorities are preparing for the arrival of the storm, which they expect will also cause power outages.

Ian “will bring heavy rain, high winds, flash flooding, storm surge … along Florida’s Gulf Coast,” DeSantis said Monday at a news conference in Tallahassee.

Some 5,000 members of the National Guard’sThey joined the 2,000 troops from Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina to help deal with the cyclone, the governor said.

Workers protect the windows of a gas station in Havana with wooden boards, on September 26, 2022, before the arrival of Hurricane Ian.  (YAMIL LAGE / AFP).
Workers protect the windows of a gas station in Havana with wooden boards, on September 26, 2022, before the arrival of Hurricane Ian. (YAMIL LAGE / AFP).

In cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale y Tampaauthorities began distributing sandbags among residents to protect their homes from the risk of flooding.

The international airport of Tampa indicated that it will suspend its operations as of 5:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. GMT) on Tuesday.

US President Joe Biden also ordered a state of emergency in Florida, which allows federal aid funds to be released.

“It’s never too early to prepare,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor tweeted.

The Caribbean and Canada are still counting damage from Fiona, a storm that claimed seven lives as it passed through the Caribbean last week and another two in Canada.

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