Hurricane Ike has weakened into a category two storm as it hits Cuba after killing more than 30 people in Haiti.
Around a million people have been evacuated in Cuba which is still reeling from the damage caused by Hurricane Gustav just over a week ago. It left an estimated 100,000 homes destroyed but claimed no lives.
At the popular beach resort of Varadero, some 9,000 tourists have also been evacuated, although some left it to the last minute. “I don’t know, I’ve never been through one of these before,” said one Canadian tourist. “I think I should go back to my hotel because I’m getting a little scared.”
In impoverished Haiti, the hurricane season has already caused extensive damage and claimed hundreds of lives. The task of delivering crucial aid to those in need has been further hindered by dismal transport conditions, with many remaining without food and clean water. The Gulf of Mexico – home to 4,000 US oil and gas rigs – is now bracing for Ike, which is expected to grow in strength after leaving Cuba.