By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, Nov. 8 – The Cuban Meteorological Institute (INSMET) reported at 12:00 noon Sunday that the eye of Hurricane Ida was located at around 85 miles (138 kms.) west-southwest from Cape San Antonio, Cuba’s westernmost point and 51 miles east of Cape Catoche, at the tip of the Yucatan peninsula.
The storm is now a Category Two hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale with winds of 100 mph (160 kph) as it skirts the Yucatan Peninsula on a course projected to take it north to the US Gulf Coast by Tuesday, where a hurricane watch is now in effect.
A tropical storm warning remains for Cuba’s westernmost province of Pinar del Rio and a storm watch for the Isle of Youth. INSMET says rains could reach between 4 and 8 inches in locations of western Pinar del Rio during Sunday afternoon and Monday morning.
As the center of Hurricane Ida moves north, Sea swells are also predicted on the north coast of western and central Cuba and on the south coast of Pinar del Rio.
In its passing through Central America, and combined with other low pressure systems, at least 54 persons are reported dead from flooding and landslides in El Salvador with the death possibly to rise when all reports are in.
In Nicaragua over 500 homes were destroyed or damaged as well as numerous schools, health facilities, churches. Heavy crop damage was also reported and small scale fishing equipment. Well contamination and replacement of latrines in the affected rural communities is urgently needed.