Hurricane Paloma approaches Cuba
Hurricane Paloma strengthened into a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of about 140 miles (225 kilometers) per hour as it approaches Cuba, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
Paloma’s center was moving near Cayman Brac at about 9 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said in an update at 10 a.m. Miami time. It was 130 miles (209 kilometers) east- northeast of Grand Cayman and about 140 miles southwest of Camaguey, Cuba.
Paloma is expected to continue traveling east-northeast through tomorrow, according to the center. It may approach the coast of south-central Cuba late tonight or early tomorrow. The island nation is still recovering from the impact of hurricanes Ike and Gustav.
The storm is expected to strengthen before weakening later today and tomorrow, the center said.
The Cuban government issued a hurricane warning for the central provinces of Ciego de Avila, Camaguey, Las Tunas, Granma, and Holguin, meaning sustained winds of 74 mph or more are expected in those areas within 24 hours, according to the center. Residents were urged to rush preparations to protect lives and property.