Three dead as Elsa batters Caribbean islands, heads for Cuba | Weather News

Tropical Storm Elsa has ravaged the southern coasts of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, blowing down trees and tearing off roofs as it swept across the Caribbean, killing at least three people.

A 15-year-old boy and a 75-year-old woman died Saturday at several events in the Dominican Republic after walls collapsed on them, while a third death was also reported in St. Lucia.

Elsa clocked maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour (110 kph), but slowed as it passed between Haiti and Jamaica, according to the United States National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The weather bureau has now downgraded Elsa to a hurricane tropical storm, which is defined as winds of at least 75 mph (121 kph).

In the Dominican Republic, some flooding was reported in the province of San Cristobal, leading to about 100 evacuations, as waves of 356-427 cm (12-14 feet) of debris washed ashore in the capital Santo Domingo.

Strong waves during the passage of Storm Elsa near the Malecón in Santo Domingo, on July 3, 2021 [Erika Santelices/AFP]

Emergency groups said they had 2,500 centers ready for evacuated people.

Some people were concerned about the condition of their homes, and many lived under corrugated iron roofs. “I have a lot of leaks in my zinc,” says resident María Ramos. “What are we going to do? Only God knows.”

‘Entire country threatened’

Haiti, where 31 people were killed in Hurricane Laura in August, had not ordered an evacuation, but authorities used social media to warn people about the storm and urged them to evacuate if they lived near water or mountain slopes. See the article : Impact of COVID-19 on Roofing Tiles Market Overview, in-Depth Analysis, Forecasts, Applications, Shares & Insights – The Courier.

“The entire country is under threat,” the Civil Protection Agency said in a statement. “Do everything you can to escape before it’s too late.”

Director Jerry Chandler told the Associated Press news agency that the Civil Protection Agency is running out of basic commodities, including food and water, as a recent spate of gang violence has already forced thousands of locals from their homes.

“It has now been three weeks since we supported families fleeing gang violence,” he said. “We are in the process of renewing our stocks, but the biggest problem is logistics.”

He said officials are still trying to figure out how to deliver supplies to Haiti’s southern region, bracing for Elsa’s impact.

Antony Exilien secures the roof of his house in response to Tropical Storm Elsa, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, July 3, 2021 [Joseph Odelyn/AP Photo]

The deaths on Saturday came a day after Elsa wreaked havoc on several eastern Caribbean islands.

In Barbados, more than 1,100 people reported damaged homes, including 62 homes that completely collapsed. The government pledged to find and fund temporary housing to prevent people from being clustered in shelters during the pandemic.

“This is a hurricane that has hit us for the first time in 66 years,” Prime Minister Mia Mottley said on Saturday. “There is no doubt that this is urgent.”

A woman sees damage to a house after strong winds from Hurricane Elsa passed through St. Michael, Barbados on July 2 [Nigel Browne/Reuters]

Meanwhile, officials on Saturday reported that at least 43 homes and three police stations had been damaged in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which also suffered from massive volcanic eruptions that began in April.

“We expect this number to increase as the reports continue to come in,” Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said. “We have some damage, but it could have been a lot worse.”

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‘Dangerous storm surges’

Elsa was the first hurricane of the Atlantic season and the earliest fifth named storm ever. This may interest you : Cleantech Stocks in the News. It also broke the record as the fastest-moving hurricane of the tropic, hitting 50 km/h on Saturday morning, according to Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami.

Rainfall is expected to be 100-200mm, with a maximum of 380mm (15in) over parts of Hispaniola – which is split between Haiti and the Dominican Republic – and Jamaica.

The NHC said the storm was expected to hit Cuba next on a path that would lead it to Florida, with some models showing it would revolve in the Gulf or along the Atlantic coast.

“Tropical storms and dangerous storm surges are expected, with possible hurricane conditions in parts of eastern Cuba starting early Sunday,” the agency said.

In Cuba, millions of people tried to prepare for torrential rains and flooding amid a spate of coronavirus infections, reaching a record 3,500 on Friday.

“Imagine, our lives have been endangered by the coronavirus for over a year and a half and now the hurricanes are coming,” Esther Garcia, a housewife in eastern Santiago de Cuba, told Reuters news agency by phone.

In Florida, authorities said they planned to demolish a partially collapsed 12-story condominium near Miami as soon as possible, fearing Elsa would knock down the rest of the building.

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