By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES – Tropical Storm Eta has been in the news for over a week. Now it approaches Cuba’s central provinces. A civil defense warning is in place for the provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, and Matanzas.
A Tropical Storm Watch is also in effect for Havana, Artemisa, Mayabeque, Pinar del Rio, and the Isle of Youth.
The storm currently has maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kms) with higher gusts. It’s central pressure is 994 millibars.
Eta caused major destruction and deaths in Central America as a hurricane and then tropical storm. Now it is moving swiftly at 14 mph (22 kmh) toward the center of Cuba.
What the Cuban weather service is reporting
According to the Cuba weather service, Insmet, at 6 PM (ET) the center of the storm was located 77 miles (125 kilometers) south-southeast of Trinidad, Sancti Spiritus and 110 miles (175 kilometers) southwest of Jucaro, Ciego de Avila.
Insmet reports that Eta will maintain a similar course, tilting its path north from dawn on Sunday with a slight increase of movement speed. It is predicted that the storm could gain a little more intensity before penetrating the southern coast. The landing is expected either in Sancti Spirtius or Ciego de Avila late tonight.
Some bands of rainfall related to the circulation of Eta continue to affect the eastern half of Cuba, said Insmet. They note that the rains will gradually increase in much of the archipelago, at times intense, mainly in mountainous areas and the southern coast, even in locations far from the center of circulation of the organism.
Moderate coastal flooding from Casilda, Sancti Spirtis to Manzanillo, Granma is expected. On the north coast of the west and center, including the Havana seawall, strong swells will begin from the early hours of this Sunday. Wave heights of between 3 and 4 meters are predicted. These will generate light coastal flooding, gradually increasing until reaching moderate starting Sunday night.