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Tropical Storm Elsa pounds Jamaica with heavy rains


Tropical Storm Elsa pounds Jamaica with heavy rains

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Kingston –  Sections of Jamaica are being pounded by heavy rains on Sunday as Tropical Storm Elsa continues to move in a west north westerly direction, in close proximity to the island.

In an update on Sunday morning, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) said it received reports that several roads in the Corporate Area flooded as the heavy downpour, influenced by the outer bands of Tropical Storm Elsa continues.

The ODPEM says that on the forecast track, Elsa will stay close to northeastern Jamaica over the next few hours and then move over parts of eastern Cuba later today. Members of the public have also been reminded to stay indoors.

In Cuba – the National Civil Defence Authority on Sunday morning said the country has prepared for Tropical Storm Elsa.

“Once again, the country puts to test its response capacity in the face of hydro-meteorological phenomena,” said the National Civil Defence Authority in a post on social media.

Meanwhile, in the Dominican Republic, officials confirmed the death of two people.

In an update on Sunday, the National Institute of Forensic Science said that in addition to the deaths, some 24 houses were affected, dozens of trees have collapsed, blocking several roads and immobilising hundreds of  people.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre, in its update at 11 a.m. said that the center of Tropical Storm Elsa was located near latitude 18.7 North, longitude 76.8 West.

Elsa is moving toward the west-northwest near 13 mph (20 km/h) and a turn toward the northwest is expected by later in the day on Sunday.

On the forecast track, Elsa will continue to move near Jamaica and portions of eastern Cuba on Sunday , and approach central Cuba by Sunday night and early  Monday.

Elsa is expected to move across central and western Cuba and head toward the Florida Straits on Monday and pass near the Florida Keys late Monday.

Elsa is then forecast to move near or  over portions of the west coast of Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts and some strengthening is possible as Elsa approaches the south-central coast of Cuba.

However, gradual weakening is  forecast to occur on Monday when Elsa moves across Cuba.

After Elsa emerges over the Florida Straits and the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, some slight restrengthening is possible.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km) from the center and the  estimated minimum central pressure is 1009 mb (29.80 inches).