The Force 2 Hurricane, Sandy, is leaving Cuba after lashing the island with torrential rain and strong winds of 183 kms per hour. Overnight coastal flood waters rose dangerously high. There are also fears of mud-slides.
As a safety measure tourists were evacuated from hotels, but in the main the local population remained calm.
The hurricane is now moving northwards at a ground speed of around 24 kms an hour and is expected to pass over the Bahamas next. Although the storm left behind a trail of devastation, and electricity supplies were interrupted, the Cuban authorities announced that no-one was hurt.
Hurricane Sandy is expected to bring tropical storm conditions along the southeastern Florida coast, the Upper Keys and Florida Bay by Friday morning.