Hurricane Elsa heads to Haiti amid fears of floods and landslides | Weather News


The storm has already ripped off roofs, destroyed crops and torn down trees and power lines in the eastern Caribbean on Friday.

Hurricane Elsa is heading for Haiti and the Dominican Republic, threatening to trigger floods and landslides before heading to Cuba and Florida.

The Category 1 storm was located about 635 km (395 miles) east-southeast of Isla Beata, Dominican Republic, and was moving west-northwest at 46 km / h (29 mph) from on Saturday.

It had sustained maximum winds of 130 km / h (80 mph), and the hurricane was expected to become a tropical storm after hitting Cuba, according to the Miami National Hurricane Center.

The long-term forecast track showed it heading into Florida as a tropical storm on Tuesday morning, but some models would take it to the gulf or the Atlantic coast.

In Haiti, authorities used social media to alert people to the hurricane and urged them to evacuate if they lived near water or mountain sides.

“The whole country is threatened by this hurricane,” the Civil Protection Agency said in a statement.

“Make every effort to flee before it’s too late.”

Haiti is especially vulnerable to floods and landslides due to widespread erosion and deforestation.

A hurricane warning was issued for Jamaica and from the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince to Punta Palenque in the Dominican Republic.

A hurricane watch was in place in the Cuban provinces of Camagüey, Granma, Guantánamo, Holguín, Las Tunas and Santiago de Cuba.

Some of these provinces have reported a high number of COVID-19 infections, and have worried that the storm could force large groups of people to seek refuge together.

The remains lie in front of a house that lost its roof and walls after strong winds from Hurricane Elsa passed Friday in Saint Michael, Barbados [Nigel Browne/Reuters]

In the neighboring Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, authorities opened more than 2,400 shelters, as meteorologists warned of heavy rains that began on Saturday before dawn.

Elsa is expected to go beyond the southernmost point of the Hispaniola in the early hours of Saturday afternoon and then aim for communities in southern Haiti.

The storm has already uprooted, destroyed crops and torn down trees and power lines in the eastern Caribbean on Friday, with damage reported in Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which are struggling to recover from the massive eruptions. volcanic eruptions that began in April.

Elsa is the first hurricane of the Atlantic season and the first storm called the fifth. Rainfall is expected to fall from 10 to 20 cm (four to eight inches) with a maximum total of 38 cm (15 inches) in the southern portions of Hispaniola and Jamaica.

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