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Tropical storm Elsa
The storm first appeared as a tropical wave last weekImage: NOAA/NESDIS/STAR GOES/AP Photo/picture alliance

Tropical storm Elsa makes landfall in Cuba

July 5, 2021

Cuban officials cleared out thousands of citizens prior to the storm's arrival. It swept over a largely rural part of the island, causing minimal damage.


Tropical storm Elsa made landfall on Cuba's southern coast on Monday, after hitting several other countries in the Caribbean. 

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the storm had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (roughly 100 kmh).

How have Cuban officials prepared for the event?

Cuban officials cleared more than 180,000 people from the area by Sunday in an evacuation in anticipation of the storm's arrival. 

"We continue with maximum attention focused on the track of storm Elsa through Cuba," Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said on Twitter. "Authorities are working all over the country."

The NHC said there would be heavy rain in parts of Cuba on Monday. The monitor said Cuba would experience "flash flooding and mudslides" as a result of the extreme weather event.

The storm did bring heavy rains, but did not cause major damage, largely hitting rural areas and passing to the east of the capital Havana.

Elsa leaves path of destruction in Caribbean

Elsa is the fifth storm of this year's hurricane season in the Atlantic. The storm first appeared as a tropical wave on July 29 before intensifying into a category 1 hurricane this past Friday.

The storm hit the Caribbean island nations of Barbados and St. Vincent on Friday, destroying homes and causing power outages. The storm killed one person in St. Lucia.

The hurricane weakened into a tropical storm on Saturday. Strong winds caused by the storm also damaged houses in the Dominican Republic, killing two people on Saturday. 

The extreme weather system is projected to travel northward and reach the Florida Keys on Tuesday. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for 15 counties in the state.

The storm will impact the greater Miami area, as rescue efforts continue following a condominium collapse in which at least 27 people died.

wd/msh (AP, Reuters)

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