The hurricane season in the Atlantic has been inaugurated. Elsa is the first phenomenon to put the region on alert after leaving three deaths on its way through the Caribbean. The hurricane has diminished in strength and degraded to a tropical storm before approaching the southern coast of Cuba on Monday, where authorities have put the provinces of Havana and Mayabeque on alert. With winds of 100 kilometers per hour and heavy rains, Elsa will continue her passage towards the Straits of Florida. However, the authorities warn that it could regain its hurricane status before reaching the United States.
Forecasts from the US National Hurricane Agency (NHC) estimate that Elsa will cross Cuba from south to north and continue on her way to the coast of Florida to impact near the municipality of Jena on Wednesday. Although it is expected to continue as a tropical storm at that time, nearby towns will have to prepare for heavy rains and isolated floods. The states of North Carolina and South Carolina will also be affected by the first phenomenon of the hurricane season that began on June 1.
Meanwhile, locals from the most exposed provinces in Cuba prepare for their arrival. In the municipality of Júcaro, on the southern coast of Ciego de Ávila, 700 residents were transferred to safe places to protect them from the penetrations of the sea derived from the storm, according to local media. Rainfall from the storm caused flooding in some sectors before the phenomenon made landfall this afternoon. The NHC has warned that when it enters the sea again, it could regain strength and become a hurricane again.
Elsa formed off the coast of the Barbados islands last Wednesday and reached hurricane status over the weekend as it passed through the southern Caribbean islands, becoming the first phenomenon of the season of its kind. Upon arrival in the Dominican Republic, a 15-year-old young man died in the Bahoruco region due to the fall of a wall and a 75-year-old woman died when her house in Bani collapsed, as reported by the National Institute of Legal Medicine (Inacif). The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) reported a third victim in Soufriere. The rest of the region has reported urban and agricultural damage with no further fatalities.
The 2020 season closed last November being the most active on record in the 21st century. The number of storms and hurricanes identified exhausted the names of the previous list of the authorities, who had to resort to the Greek alphabet. This year the season is expected to be just as active, thanks to the action of climate change and warming of the ocean surface. The acceleration of the process between La Niña and El Niño will produce more phenomena in the Atlantic.
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