More than 26,000 people remain evacuated in western Cuba due to the proximity of the dangerous Hurricane Delta, which is advancing through Caribbean waters towards the northeast coast of the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico) with a category 4.
In Pinar del Río, the country’s westernmost province, some 22,030 people have been evacuated, in Isla de la Juventud another 4,045 and in Artemisa, 696, in most cases they were transferred to the homes of relatives and centers prepared to house them, according to the information that local media offers from social networks.
#Delta continúa siendo un intenso huracán categoría 4, aunque sus vientos máximos descendieron hasta los 215 km/h. Los vientos se mantendrán con velocidades entre 40 y 55 km/h y rachas superiores en la Isla de la Juventud y el extremo occidental de Pinar del Río. pic.twitter.com/lNoqhaModk
— Centro de Pronósticos, Insmet (@cnp_insmet_cuba) October 7, 2020
The provinces of Pinar del Río, Artemisa and the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud are in a cyclonic alarm phase due to the proximity of Delta, whose trajectory forecasts don’t foresee that it will touch Cuban land, although its effects will be felt in the form of rain, wind, swells and coastal flooding.
Given the possibility of heavy rains associated with this natural phenomenon, the reservoirs in these areas are kept under “constant observation,” some of which have already begun to pour water as prevention.
According to an update issued at 6:00 by the Forecast Center of the Institute of Meteorology, Delta registered a slight weakening and its center was located about 45 kilometers east northeast of Cozumel, Mexico and 55 kilometers south of Islas Mujeres in Yucatán.
The highest rainfall was registered in the Isla de la Juventud, with 84 millimeters in Nueva Gerona, 61 millimeters in La Fe and 55 millimeters in Punta del Este; as well as in Playa Girón, Matanzas, where 52 millimeters of precipitation were registered.
The Temporary Working Group for the control of COVID-19 also held an exchange this Tuesday with the authorities of Pinar del Río, Isla de la Juventud and Artemisa about the circumstance generated by Hurricane Delta.
In Havana, bad weather had left intermittent rainfall since Tuesday afternoon, although the authorities were keeping an eye on the evolution of hurricane number 25 of the current hurricane season in the Atlantic.
Since Monday, in the westernmost part of Cuba, the information phase was established, classes were suspended and vessels, merchandise and crops were put under shelter.
The protocol of the Cuban Civil Defense establishes the informative, alert, alarm and recovery stages before, during and after the passage of a storm.
The cyclonic threat is added this year to the current COVID-19 epidemic on the island, which already registers 5,883 positive cases and 123 deaths.
Of the three provinces in alarm, only Artemisa reports cases, although regional governments say they have taken health measures to prevent outbreaks.