Hurricane Mexico Cuba
October 13, 2010 by USA Post
Hurricane Mexico Cuba, (AFP) – Cuba braced Wednesday for heavy rains and flooding in the small but powerful Hurricane Paula, who soaked resort-dotted Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula before churning toward the Caribbean island.
Mexico has lifted its highest “red alert Wednesday morning after the storm swept in miles (kilometers) of resort areas, where some 27,000 tourists were staying, causing no serious damage, civil defense officials said.
“The hurricane came very close, but caused no major damage to the coastline,” said Felix Gonzalez, governor of South Eastern State of Quintana Roo.
Paula strengthened Tuesday to a category two hurricane on the five-point scale Saffir-Simpson has maintained his intensity on Wednesday with winds of 100 miles (160 kilometers) per hour, the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
At 10 o’clock (1200 GMT) Paula raged around 105 kilometers (65 miles) off the western tip of Cuba, where authorities placed a hurricane warning for the province of Pinar Del Rio.
Hurricane force winds had whipped western Cuba with the afternoon while Paula, moving at seven km (five miles) per hour, would be “near or over western Cuba tonight or Thursday morning, “said the NHC.
Paula could be the first hurricane of the Atlantic season to make landfall in Cuba, which was criticized in 2008 by a trio of major hurricanes, causing some 10 billion dollars in damage.
Tropical Storm Nicole hit the island two weeks ago, cutting off villages and damaging farmland, but also increases the water reserves are depleted.
Paula is expected to flood the west and center of the island with 7.5 to 15 centimeters (three to six inches) of rain, with isolated amounts of 25 centimeters (10 inches) possible.
“In areas of mountainous terrain, these amounts rainfall could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” the NHC said.
In Pinar Del Rio and the southeast of Isla de la Juventud Island, the Civil Defense authorities assessed possible evacuations and provisions of food and health, the local radio.
The Cuban Institute of Meteorology warned that INSMET the eye of the storm would skirt north coast of Cuba, lashing the capital, Havana, Thursday, before roaring in the center of Cuba Saturday.
The winds should also look in the Florida Keys Thursday, which were placed on tropical storm watch, according to the NHC.
Paula is the ninth session of the hurricane season from June to November-through of the Atlantic.
He raised the troubling possibility of more flooding in already saturated with water in Central America and Mexico after weeks of devastation caused by heavy rains.
Floods and landslides have killed over 400 people in Central America and Mexico, tens of thousands homeless and caused billions of dollars in damage in recent months.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted a particularly stormy year 2010, with 14 to 23 named storms this season, including eight to 14 hurricanes.
On average, there are 11 named storms, six of which become hurricanes.
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