Cuba braces for the possible onslaught of Hurricane Irma. This is the season of hurricanes in the Caribbean. Following closely on the heals of Hurricane Harvey which devastated Houston, Texas, this hurricane is currently classified as a category 5 hurricane. NOAA has stated it is a, “potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane and will bring life-threatening wind, storm surge, and rainfall hazards to portions of the northeastern Leeward Islands beginning later today.”
Hurricane Irma is predicted to hit Cuba on Friday or Saturday. Other islands also bracing for Hurricane Irma include the British Virgin Islands, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday. On Thursday, Irma is predicted to hit northern Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
By Friday, Hurricane Irma is predicted to hit Cuba and the Bahamas with a possible reduction to a category 4 hurricane. It will possibly hit Florida on Sunday night.
Hurricanes leave catastrophe in its path. Last year’s Hurricane Matthew left much devastation in eastern Cuba. The damage left by Hurricane Matthew was extensive, especially in Guantanamo. The municipalities of Baracoa, Maisi, Imias and San Antonio del Sur suffered the worst damage. More than half of the buildings in Baracoa were toppled. The power grid was critically damaged in the region. With a population of more than 80,000, Baracoa was reduced to rubble, closely resembling a war zone.
The Cuban government is on the alert and has been making preparations for the threat from Hurricane Irma.