HAVANA TIMES — The full force of hurricane Matthew is over Haiti on Tuesday morning where catastrophic consequences are forecast and the storm’s center is expected to reach far eastern Cuba by this afternoon.
The mighty hurricane now packs 145 mph winds and brings extremely heavy rains, expected to dump from 8 to 12 inches over much of eastern Cuba (up to 20 inches in mountainous areas), notes the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
At 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday the Cuban weather service (Insmet) located the center of Matthew at a mere 140 miles south-southeast of Guantanamo and around 170 miles south-southeast of Santiago de Cuba.
Matthew is currently moving north at 9 mph.
Hundreds of thousands of Cubans have been evacuated to safer structures in anticipation of the hurricane. President Raul Castro has been in Santiago de Cuban and Guantanamo to oversee the Civil Defense preparations.
One of the most serious problems in Cuba is the sub-standard and deteriorated housing which have proven in the past unable to withstand hurricanes.
The track of the storm has varied a little in the post Cuba projection now also showing a potential danger for Miami and parts of Florida after passing through the Bahamas.
For our readers who can understand Spanish here is Cuba’s top weather expert, Jose Rubiera, explaining the situation of Hurricane Matthew on the Monday evening national TV news program.