The Dominican capital, Santo Domingo, is on high alert for flooding, as the storm causes winds of up to 110 km per hour.
Haiti and the Dominican Republic are preparing floods and potential damage as Tropical Storm Elsa brought strong winds to the area on Saturday.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said a plane measured sustained maximum winds at 110 miles per hour, causing Elsa to become a tropical storm from a hurricane.
The center of the storm passed south of the southwestern peninsula of Haiti, and brought tropical storm conditions to parts of the country and the neighboring Dominican Republic, the NHS said at 14:00 ET (18 : 00 GMT) update.
“Little change in strength is expected tonight, but a gradual weakening is expected on Sunday and Monday, when Elsa is expected to be near or over Cuba,” the agency said.
In the Dominican Republic, officials evacuated people living near the rivers and streams in the coastal province of Barahona, as severe flooding was predicted. The capital of Santo Domingo was also under extreme flood alert.
Emergency groups said they had prepared 2,500 centers for evacuees.
Some people cared about the condition of their homes, and many lived under corrugated roofs. “I have a lot of zinc leaks,” said resident Maria Ramos. “What are we going to do? Only God knows.”
“The whole country threatened”
Haiti, which suffered 31 deaths in Hurricane Laura in August, had not ordered the evacuation, but authorities used social media to alert people to the storm and urged them to evacuate if they lived near the storms. water or mountain flanks.
“The whole country is under threat,” the Civil Protection Agency said in a statement. “Make every effort to flee before it’s too late.”
Director Jerry Chandler told The Associated Press that the agency runs out of staples, such as food and water. recent increase in gang violence he has already displaced thousands of local people from his home.
“They have spent three weeks supporting families fleeing gang violence,” he said. “We are working to renew our stocks, but the biggest problem is logistics.”
He said officials are still trying to figure out how to supply supplies to the southern region of Haiti, which prepared for Elsa’s impact.
Meanwhile, people were buying water and food before the storm approached.
“I am protecting myself as best I can. Civil protection will not do it for me, ”said Darlene Jean-Pierre, 35, as she bought six jugs of water along with vegetables and fruit.
“I have other worries on the street … I have to worry about the gangs fighting. Besides, we have a hurricane. I don’t know what kind of catastrophe this will cause.”
The NHC said the storm is expected to move near the southern coast of Hispaniola, which divides between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, before passing Sunday near Jamaica and eastern Cuba.
It will head to the Florida Strait Monday before moving near or through parts of Florida’s west coast on Tuesday, the agency said.
Florida authorities said Saturday that they planned to demolish a partially collapsed 12-story condominium near Miami as soon as possible, amid fears that Elsa might drop the rest of the building in a dangerous manner.