By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, Oct. 30 — Cuba’s chief weather forecaster Jose Rubiera warned Saturday that Haiti and the Dominican Republic could face serious danger next week from Hurricane Tomas and should take precautions.
Rubiera, one of Cuba’s most popular public figures, also wrote in cubadebate.cu about the rarity of Tomas forming where it did near the southeastern Caribbean at such a late date in the hurricane season.
The head of the team at the Cuban Meteorology Institute (INSMET) said that preliminary reports from Barbados state that roofs were torn off houses and many roads were not passable because of fallen trees. The center of the storm passed only 30 kilometers south of the small Caribbean island, said Rubiera.
In laying out the possible path that Tomas will take in the Caribbean, Rubiera said Haiti and the Dominican Republic should pay the utmost attention as the prevailing weather conditions show the storm taking an abrupt turn north or northeast the middle of next week that could lead to a landing on Hispaniola island shared by the two countries.
Rubiera said that if the current projections cones are correct, “Haiti will be in serious danger next week and I say that because I have a great concert for that sister nation.”
None of the current INSMET projections see Tomas making a landing on Jamaica or Cuba.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami is predicting that Tomas will reach major hurricane status by the middle of next week as it moves into the central Caribbean.