by Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, August 24 — As Hurricane Irene moves farther away from eastern Cuba, and deeper into the Bahamas, in the capital Havana there are no affects from the powerful storm expected.
The Cuban Weather Service (INSMET) notes in its Wednesday evening report that Irene has become a major hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph (195 kph).
The highly dangerous storm is churning on a northwest track through the Bahamas in route for the US Atlantic coastline, where it could reach land by the weekend.
INSMET said thundershowers will continue mainly in the coastal areas of Guantanamo and Holguin provinces throughout the night, associated to the far outer bands of the storm.
Civil defense authorities will be keeping a close watch on the water levels of rivers and reservoirs during the next 24 to 48 hours just in case of locally intense rainfall.
INSMET also informed that dangerous seas for navigation will persist on the northeastern coast of the island.
At 6:00 p.m., INSMET located the center of Hurricane Irene at 150 miles (245 kms) north-northeast of Punta Lucrecía Holguin and 210 miles (345 kms) southeast of Nassau, Bahamas.