By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES – If soon to be Hurricane Idalia continues at its current 8 mph (13 kph) movement speed north it will be crossing far western Pinar del Río sometime tonight. A hurricane warning is in effect for the province, a tropical storm warning for the Isle of Youth, while Artemisa, Havana, and Mayabeque are under a Civil Defense watch stage.
Meanwhile, the west coast of Florida, the south of the Panhandle and Georgia are getting ready for Hurricane Idalia, predicted by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) to arrive on Wednesday as a major storm.
At 8:00 AM on Monday Cuba and Florida time, the center of Idalia was located at 90 miles (150 km) from the western tip of Cuba.
Low lying coastal areas to the south of Pinar del Rio can expect a storm surge, notes the NHC, however whether there may occur coastal flooding in the other western provinces including the capital is still uncertain.
The NHC states that “hurricane conditions are expected within the hurricane warning area in western Cuba later today. Winds are expected to first reach tropical storm strength by this morning, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous.”
It was late September 2022 when Hurricane Ian caused widespread destruction first in Pinar del Río and then several sections of western and central Florida where 150 people died. There were also five deaths in Cuba, the same number as reported in North Carolina.