Hurricane Irma makes landfall in Cuba, warnings issued

Hurricane Irma makes landfall in Cuba, warnings issued

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 09 Sep 2017

Havana, Sep 9 (IBNS): After pummelling the Caribbean Islands, the powerful Hurricane Irma is lashing Cuba with strong winds and heavy rainfall, reports said.

The category five hurricane made landfall on the Camaguey Archipelago, off the north-eastern coast, late on Friday.

Irma has so far killed at least 20 people in the Caribbean, while destroying some of the popular tourist destinations.

Meanwhile, the Hurricane's path has forced the Florida government to warn 5.6 million people, or 25 percent of the state's population to leave before the calamity strike the US state.

This is also the first time in decades that Cuba has been hit by a category five hurricane.

Provinces like Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara and Matanzas have been placed under warnings, BBC reported.

Following the onslaught, the Barbuda Island is said to be barely habitable, while BBC news quoted officials as saying that the French territory of St Martin is almost destroyed.

Irma is said to be the most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade and had wind speeds of 295km/h (185mph).

Following the devastation, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said about 95 percent of the buildings had suffered some damage. 

"The island is literally under water. In fact, I'm of the view that, as it stands now, Barbuda is barely habitable," he was quoted in the media as saying.

The hurricane also destroyed St Martin's airport, the third largest in the Caribbean.

Meanwhile, residents are bracing for another hurricane, Jose, which is presently a category four storm.

It is expected to exacerbate the already grim situation and hamper rescue and relief efforts.

How to deem the category of a storm:

There are five categories in the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind scale.

Category One: Wind speed upto 153 km/hr. Slight damage and power cuts.

Category Two: Wind speed 154-177 km/hr. Significant damage.

Category Three: Wind speed 178-208 km/hr. Building suffering major damage.

Category Four: Wind Speed 209-251 km/hr. Trees blown over. Building suffering major damage.

Category Five: Wind Speed 252+ km/hr. Trees blown over. Building suffering major damage. Major roads cut off.

Hurricane Irma makes landfall in Cuba, warnings issued

India Blooms News Service
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