Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tropical Storm Paula drenches Cuba

Rigoberto Diaz in the Montreal Gazette via AFP: Hurricane Paula weakened to tropical storm status Thursday, but still packed a punch when it hit western Cuba on its way toward the center of the island and Havana. Cuba's civil defense called on coastal residents in Pinar del Rio province, in western Cuba, to take precautions. It said the storm, even in its weakened state, may also cause damage to the Isle of Youth and the capital city Havana.

General Ramon Pardo Guerra, head of Cuba's civil defense authority, urged inhabitants to "take all possible measures to protect life and property," in an alert directed especially at coastal dwellers. At 5 p.m. ET, Paula's center was over Cuba, 60 kilometers southwest of Havana moving towards the east a near 15 kilometres an hour, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center reported.

The storm's maximum sustained winds dropped to around 95 kilometres an hour, with higher gusts. "Weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Paula is expected to become a tropical depression on Friday," the NHC said….

The track of Paula at six-hour intervals, through October 11, by Titoxd

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