Sunday 4th July 2021
Cuba and Florida alarmed
Several dead in the Caribbean from storm “Elsa”
Several people died in the tropical storm in the Dominican Republic and on the island of St. Lucia. The force with which “Elsa” will move on is still unclear. In Cuba, thousands of residents of the south coast are now being evacuated and in Florida the state of emergency applies to 15 districts.
Several people were killed in the Caribbean by the tropical storm “Elsa”. For example, a 75-year-old and a 15-year-old died in different places in the Dominican Republic when walls fell on them due to strong winds and heavy rain, according to a report by the Dominican Emergency Response Center (COE). There is said to have been one death on the island of St. Lucia.
Meanwhile, Cuba has now begun to rescue thousands of residents on the island’s south coast from the approaching tropical storm, which started as the first Atlantic hurricane of the year and may head towards Florida by the beginning of the week. Only fallen trees were initially reported from the poor Caribbean state of Haiti, where the storm was viewed with particular concern.
“Elsa” had gained strength on Friday and caused destruction in parts of the Caribbean as a level 1 of 5 hurricane with wind speeds of up to 140 kilometers per hour. In Barbados, the storm toppled trees and power poles, as the civil protection agency DEM announced. According to the Interior Ministry, there were power outages. The water supply for a large part of the island had been cut off as a precaution to protect the equipment. Operations at Grantley Adams International Airport have been temporarily suspended. He should be resumed today.
Emergency to mobilize resources
It was initially unclear with what intensity the storm would make itself felt in the US state of Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in 15 Florida counties, including Miami-Dade County, where a residential complex had partially collapsed. This enables the government to mobilize additional resources in order to be able to help more quickly if necessary. The rescue work on the collapsed building is currently suspended. Because of “Elsa”, the demolition of the part of the building that is still standing should be preferred, the authorities are preparing to demolish it as soon as possible.
The hurricane season in the Atlantic lasts from June to November. Last year it was particularly intense. The US climate agency NOAA is again expecting an above-average season this year. Experts attribute the increasing intensity of tropical cyclones, which need warm water to form, to climate change.