Hurricane Tomas Leaves No Casualties in Cuba

Hurricane Tomas has caused neither fatal victims nor considerable property damage so far in Cuba after crossing close to the eastern tip of the island on Friday night, Civil Defense authorities reported.

Chief of the National Civil Defense Council (DC), Major General Ramon Pardo Guerra made the announcement and extolled the effort made by the people and local governments to minimize the impact of Tomas in the eastern provinces.

The center of the category-1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale (of five) crossed the Windward Passage strait at around 6:00 p.m. Friday when its center was located around 46,60 miles east off Punta de Maisi and had with sustained winds of 74,56 mph. Tomas continued to move northwest at a speed of 13 mph.

Heavy rains were reported in the Cuban easternmost province of Guantanamo and also in the municipalities of Moa, Frank Pais, Sagua de Tanamo, Mayari, Antilla and Gibara, in Holguin; coastal flooding and a dozen collapsed houses have been also reported in those areas.

Coastal flooding in municipalities north of Havana are possible.

Upon passing by Haiti on Friday, Hurricane Tomas left five people dead, two missing and six injured, according to preliminary reports from Port-au-Prince.

Tomas is forecasted to continue strengthening in the next 12 hours before beginning to weaken in the next 24 hours. The hurricane will move in a direction close to the northeast near the eastern tip of Cuba, gradually increasing its speed.

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