Caribbean-On-Line's Caribbean Hurricane Blog



Gustav swells to dangerous Cat 3 storm off Cuba

Published on August 30, 2008 9:28 AM | Comments

From the AP:

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (AP) -- Gustav swelled to a fearsome Category 3 hurricane with winds of 120 mph as it shrieked toward the heartland of Cuba's cigar industry Saturday on a track to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast three years after Hurricane Katrina.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami called the storm, which has already killed 71 people in the Caribbean, ''dangerous'' and said it had become the second major hurricane of the Atlantic season, following Bertha in July.

Cuban state television announced that all buses and trains to and from Havana were suspended, as was ferry service to the Isla de Juventud, the outlying Cuban island next in Gustav's path.

Authorities announced they were prepared to ''protect'' the 20,000 tourists in Matanzas province, which includes the famous beach resort of Varadero.

Gustav rolled over the Cayman Islands Friday with fierce winds that tore down trees and power lines.

At first light Saturday, Associated Press journalists found that Grand Cayman island was spared major damage. Big surging waves pounded at the island, but there was little flooding, and wind damage was limited because islanders had removed signs and other items that could blow away.



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