Hundreds of thousands of people are being evacuated in Cuba as Hurricane Ike bears down on the island, with its projected course likely to slice through the island. It has already devastated Haiti, still struggling to come to terms with the deadly effects of Hurricane Gustav last week, another Category 4 storm classed as “highly dangerous”.
Seen from space Ike is a monster. It scored a near direct hit on the Turks and Caicos islands, where 80 percent of homes are reported damaged on the main island. Cuba had 140 000 buildings damaged or destroyed last week in the west, but it is the east that will feel the first force of Ike before it crosses the country.
Ike is bringing torrential rain to already flooded areas, making evacuation even harder by downing bridges and washing away roads. People are being warned to save water and food in case aid is slow in arriving.