By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, Nov. 4 — A hurricane alert is now in effect for three of Cuba’s easternmost provinces as Tropical Storm moves north-northeast from its present location just southeast of Jamaica, informed the Cuban Civil Defense authorities on Thursday.
The alert goes for Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba and part of Holguin provinces while a hurricane watch is also in place for Granma and Las Tunas.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami informed at 10:44 pm. EDT that Tomas is now packing 65 mph (105 kph) winds and is moving on a path north-northeast at 9 mph (15 kph).
The NHC predicts that Tomas will regain hurricane strength (74 mph) as it approaches the area including Haiti and far eastern Cuba.
In its latest bulletin the NHC says Tomas is strengthening as its center moves just east of Jamaica -under a tropical storm alert- and heading for western Haiti. It said that tropical storm force winds are already being felt along the southwestern coast of Haiti.
At 6:00 p.m. the Cuban Meterology Institute (INSMET) put Tomas at 245 kilometers (150 miles) southwest of Cabo Tiburón Haití and 365 kilometers (225 miles) south-southwest of the city of Guantanamo, Cuba and 440 kilometers (275 miles) south-southwest of Punto de Maisi, the easternmost tip of Cuba.