- Title: Cuba braces for Hurricane Matthew
- Date: 1st October 2016
- Summary: HAVANA, CUBA (SEPTEMBER 30, 2016) (REUTERS) THE MALECON SEA WALL
- Embargoed: 16th October 2016 04:16
- Keywords: Cuba storm category 4 hurricane Matthew Jamaica Cuba Caribbean Hurricane Matthew
- Location: HAVANA, CUBA / INTERNET
- City: HAVANA, CUBA / INTERNET
- Country: Cuba
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,Wind/Hurricane/Typhoons/Tornadoes
- Reuters ID: LVA0055268QX3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
Cuba is warning citizens of the threat of Hurricane Matthew as it barrels through the Caribbean towards the island and its southern neighbour, Jamaica.
Hurricane Matthew surged in power on Friday (September 30) to become the Caribbean's first major hurricane in four years as it moved towards the islands with winds of up to 160 miles per hour (260 kph) powerful enough to wreck houses, forecasters said.
The strongest hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean since Felix in 2007 was forecast to make landfall as a major storm on Monday on Jamaica's palm-fringed southern coast before pushing north towards Cuba.
Though the weather was pleasant in Havana, state television warned viewers eastern portions of the country are under "threat" from the powerful storm.
"What is true is that there is a threat to the eastern part of our country. It could be here, or it could be there, but we have to keep an eye on it, but that's what it is," weather presenter Jose Rubiera said.
Cuba has a strong track record of keeping its citizens out of harm's way when storms strike and the government issued a statement calling on residents to keep informed and to follow government instructions.
"Keeping in mind how it has intensified and its possible path, they have decided to establish the Informative Phase for the provinces from Camaguey to Guantanamo from 5 p.m. (2100 GMT) today. The provinces in the central region should stay alert to the information from the Meteorology Institute," said presenter Rafael Serrano, reading the statement on state TV.
"The public is called to be alert for information that could come out and that they dutifully meet the measures indicated by local authorities," he continued.
Matthew was about 440 miles (710 km.) southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, and the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) designated it as a Category 5, the strongest on the Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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