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Tropical Storm Elsa over Florida Straits, exits Cuba dumping heavy rain

Tropical Storm Elsa was over the Florida Straits early on Tuesday (July 6) and is expected to moved towards the west coast of the state after dumping heavy rain over Cuba.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest advisory that center of Elsa and was moving toward the north-northwest near 12 mph (19 kph).

Satellite data indicated maximum sustained winds were near 60 mph (95 kph), with stronger gusts.

“Some additional strengthening is forecast through tonight before Elsa moves inland over Florida,” the Miami-based weather forecaster added.

Elsa has already killed at least three people and caused damage to infrastructure and agriculture in Caribbean islands southeast of Cuba, such as St Lucia and the Dominican Republic.

More than 100,000 people in Cuba were evacuated from flood-prone areas or unsafe housing in the potential path of the storm, most going to homes of family and friends, but thousands also went to government shelters, state-run media reported.

The NHC said tropical storm conditions would continue over parts of Cuba during the next several hours, with flooding possible.

“Tropical storm conditions are beginning in the warning area in the Florida Keys and are expected along the Florida west coast later this morning,” it added.

Tornadoes were also possible across south Florida and across the Florida Peninsula, it said.

(Production: Kia Johnson)


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