Erika Petering Out as Nears Puerto Rico

By Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES, Sept 4 – The Cuban Meteorological Institute continues to track what was Tropical Storm Erika as it moves nearer Puerto Rico.  As of Thursday evening the storm was downgraded to a tropical depression and the tendency is for further weakening.

Erika was located at 6:00 p.m. EST about 195 kilometers south-southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico and moving at a speed of 19 kms per hour.  Maximum sustained winds had dropped to 55 kph.

The Cuban weather experts predict that during the next 12 to 24 hours Erika will move on a west-northwest path and continue losing intensity.

Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands both are under a tropical storm watch.

The latest projections from the National Hurricane Center show Erika further south than previously projected and could affect at least Eastern Cuba by sometime Sunday.

Meanwhile, powerful Pacific Hurricane Jimena has also been downgraded to a tropical storm and is actually considered a positive for much of Baja California, Mexico, hard hit by drought.

Jimena had reached Category 4 intensity before reaching land, and its course spared the larger populated tourist resort areas like Los Cabos, while knocking down power lines and tearing off roofs in small farm and coastal towns, reported AP.