Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Storm Elsa cuts through Caribbean, claims three lives



Storm Elsa cuts through Caribbean, claims three lives

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Strong waves battered the coast of the Dominican Republic when Tropical Storm Elsa passed on July 3, 2021. AFP

Storm Elsa cuts through Caribbean, claims three lives

Tropical storm Elsa battered Jamaica and Cuba with winds and rain on July 4 after claiming at least three lives while cutting a path of destruction through the Caribbean, authorities said.

Flooding, mudslides and damaging gusts were expected as the storm – downgraded from hurricane status but still powerful – crept north toward the US.

As of 8pm on July 4 (0000 GMT July 5), Elsa was packing maximum sustained winds of 95km/h, the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said.

By the evening of July 4, the NHC had reported that tropical storm warnings had been cancelled in Jamaica and in parts of Cuba.

But a warning remained in effect for other areas in Cuba and the Florida Keys, with Elsa forecast to hit the western part of the US state as early as July 6.

In Surfside, Florida, where a high-rise condo building collapsed on June 24, authorities said they planned to topple a remaining part of the building in a controlled implosion overnight on July 4 – avoiding the risk that Elsa might bring it down more destructively.

Tropical storm conditions were moving toward central Cuba, with forecasters predicting a storm surge of 0.9-1.5m along the country’s southern coast, plus rainfall of up to 38cm in isolated areas, that could lead to flash flooding and mudslides.

Civil Defence authorities began to evacuate some coastal communities ahead of the storm surge.

On the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, a 15-year-old boy was killed on July 3 near Bahoruco when a wall collapsed; and a 75-year-old woman in Bani met a similar fate, according to the country’s Emergency Operations Centre.

Around 50 homes there were facing damage on July 4.

“I can’t get into my house because of the water,” 50-year-old Mayra Tejeda, who lives in the Moscu neighborhood some 24km from the capital Santo Domingo with a child with special needs, told AFP.

“It’s all covered in water,” she said.

A third person died in Soufriere on the island state of Santa Lucia, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) said, without offering details.

Heavy winds led to widespread electricity and water outages, the CDEMA added.

It also said hundreds of homes in Barbados were damaged.

Haiti, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, reported no deaths or “serious damage” though some crops were battered, according to Jerry Chandler, who heads the country’s civil protection agency.

On July 2, Elsa – then packing winds of 120km/h – became the first hurricane of the Atlantic season before weakening to tropical-storm status on July 3.

According to the NHC, the storm could continue to weaken a bit as it moves over land in Cuba and then strengthen again over the Gulf of Mexico as it moves toward Florida.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer