Eta Moves Toward Caymans, Bahamas, Cuba

U.S. weather forecasters said early Saturday that Eta, now a tropical depression, will “gradually strengthen” as it moves toward the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and Florida.The National Hurricane Center said tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Cayman Islands, Northwestern Bahamas and the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, and Matanzas.Tropical storm watches have been issued for the east coast of Florida to the Sebastian Inlet, the Florida Keys and the Cuban provinces of La Habana, Artemisa y Mayabeque, Pinar delRio, and the Isle of Youth.A tropical storm warning means storm conditions are expected within 36 hours, while a tropical storm watch means the storm conditions could appear within 48 hours.Eta has ravaged Central America over the past few days with heavy rains that caused flooding and landslides that killed at least 100 people.In its latest report, the NHC said Eta was about 405 kilometers west-southwest of Grand Cayman and is moving with maximum sustained winds of 55 kph.Eta came ashore Tuesday in Nicaragua as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, bringing high winds, heavy rain, flooding and landslides in higher elevations.The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said Friday that Eta has forced thousands of people to leave their homes and has caused “significant damage” to buildings and homes in Central America, including in Honduras, Guatemala and Panama.Eta is the 28th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, tying a record for the busiest storm season.

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