As Tropical Storm Ian approaches the island’s western coast, Cuban authorities have made the necessary preparations. Classes in the Pinar del Rio region have been canceled due to the looming threat of severe winds and heavy rainfall.
Hurricane warnings have been issued for multiple provinces in Cuba, including Pinar del Rio, Artemisa, and Isla de Juventud. As Hurricane Ian approaches land, Grand Cayman is also under a hurricane warning. According to the National Hurricane Center in the United States, depending on the hurricane’s trajectory, the hurricane might make landfall in the far western section of Cuba by Monday or Tuesday.
Hurricane Ian’s path may carry it right into Cuba’s famed tobacco plantations, causing significant damage to the crops. In addition, weather forecasters predict that Hurricane Ian will strengthen on Tuesday.
According to Granma, Cuba’s state media, evacuations will begin on Monday, particularly in western regions such as Pinar del Rio. Classes had already been canceled in anticipation of the widespread evacuation.
Using all available data, Hurricane Ian was spotted roughly 140 miles south of Grand Cayman around 11 p.m. on Sunday, heading northwest at a speed of 13 mph. The hurricane’s sustained winds reached 65 mph. Residents of Florida have also been warned of the likely repercussions of Hurricane Ian as it makes its way over the Caribbean Sea and onto land.
State of emergency in Florida
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis wasted no time in declaring a state of emergency throughout the state. He warned residents to brace themselves for the threat, which might bring high winds, torrential rainfall, and increasing sea levels. These forces have the potential to cause property damage and endanger lives.
Because the hurricane’s route is unpredictable, experts do not know where Hurricane Ian will make landfall. However, if the storm continues on its present route, it will strike the west coast of Florida or nearby areas.
“We’re going to keep monitoring the track of this storm. But it really is important to stress the degree of uncertainty that still exists. Even if you’re not necessarily right in the eye of the path of the storm, there’s going to be pretty broad impacts throughout the state,” DeSantis stated in a news conference.
Authorities in Florida, particularly in the Florida Keys and the Florida peninsula, where flash floods and urban flooding are expected, have issued an advisory. Significant rain is also forecast in the northern portion of the state, with the panhandle and southwestern sections seeing heavy rain during the latter part of the week.
The US is watching the hurricane closely
On Sunday, the National Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning for the Florida Keys and issued preparations in case the hurricane caused major damage in the area.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden alerted multiple agencies to be on the lookout for Hurricane Ian and directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate relief and possibly rescue efforts with local authorities. Furthermore, the president will visit Florida on September 27 to assess the state’s situation.
According to John Cangialosi, a senior hurricane specialist in Miami, people should be prepared because officials have not ruled out any specific region where Hurricane Ian would strike. As a result, inhabitants should make all necessary preparations to protect their safety when the hurricane hits the shore.
“It’s a hard thing to say stay tuned, but that’s the right message right now. But for those in Florida, it’s still time to prepare. I’m not telling you to put up your shutters yet or do anything like that, but it’s still time to get your supplies,” said Cangialosi.
The media in Florida has reported an increase in purchases of commodities such as generators, water, and other supplies in numerous areas, indicating that inhabitants are making preparations for the hurricane.