Category 2 Hurricane Ian has started lashing Cuba, as the US state of Florida steps up preparations before Ian’s expected arrival on Wednesday.
Florida, Cuba brace for onslaught of Hurricane Ian
Hurricane Ian starts hitting Cuba
Hurricane Ian has begun pounding Cuba’s south coast as officials rush to evacuate residents, secure boats and batten down homes amid warnings of a life-threatening storm surge.
The fast-growing storm is centred about 250 kilometres southeast of Cabo San Antonio, in far western Cuba, but has jumped in intensity, with sustained winds of 155 km/h making it a Category 2 hurricane.
“Devastating wind damage is possible where the core of Ian moves across western Cuba,” the US-based National Hurricane Center said.
The storm is forecast to become a Category 3 or greater and barrel north to the Florida coast, where residents are stockpiling supplies and filling sandbags.