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Tropical Storm Elsa lashes Jamaica with thunderstorms as it moves toward Cuba

Jacqueline Charles, Adriana Brasileiro, and Syra Ortiz-Blanes, The Miami Herald on

Published in Weather News

MIAMI — Tropical Storm Elsa approached Jamaica and portions of Cuba on Sunday after lashing the southern coast of Haiti, where its strong wind gusts crushed crops and a tropical storm warning has been discontinued.

In the neighboring Dominican Republic, the storm was responsible for at least two deaths, the country's Emergency Operations Center said, after two people were crushed by a collapsed wall in two separate incidents Saturday. Another death was reported in St. Lucia after Elsa battered the eastern Caribbean as a Category 1 hurricane on Friday.

Elsa's intensity had decreased significantly, with 60 mph maximum sustained winds.

"Some strengthening is possible today and tonight as Elsa approaches the south-central coast of Cuba," the National Hurricane Center said in its 11 a.m. advisory.

As the center of the storm neared northeastern Jamaica Sunday morning before moving to portions of eastern Cuba, Jamaica's Meteorological Service warned the population that rainfall, including heavy showers and thunderstorms, will continue to spread across most parishes.

"Flash flooding is likely in low-lying and floor prone areas today with 3 to 6 inches of rainfall in the forecast," the Meteorological Service said in an advisory. "Strong winds, reaching to near tropical-storm force, are also expected during at least the next 6-12 hours."

 

Jamaica's Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and police force said they were already receiving reports of flooded, impassable roads in Kingston, Portmore and St. Thomas parish.

"Members of the public are being reminded to stay indoors.," the disaster office said

Elsa is expected to approach central Cuba later in the evening Sunday and early Monday. It will move across Cuba as it heads toward the Florida Straits Monday and pass near the Florida Keys late Monday.

The government of Cuba has issued a tropical storm warning for the provinces of Matanzas, Mayabeque and Havana. There is a tropical storm watch for the province of Artemisa.

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