Cyclone Gustav becomes a hurricane and pounds HaitiAugust 26th, 2008 - 3:54 pm ICT by David M N James
Tropical cyclone Gustav has finally went through the cyclone threshold to reach the hurricane level as it made a landfall on Haiti a few minutes ago. The National Hurricane Centre in Miami has confirmed that Gustav is now a hurricane with immense destructive strengths and potential.
Using a hunter aircraft, the National Hurricane Centre monitored Gustav gain speed from just 60mph to a dangerous 80mph three hour ago and then from the 80mph speed to 85mph so far. Ordinary hurricane speed is 74mph and Gustav is defying normal parameter estimates to go beyond the hurricane threshold.
Already the hurricane has bore down on Haiti and Central Caribbean areas and swirled around destructively. Haiti, a nation impoverished by a limping economy that has failed to help its 9 million people is being pounded by immense rains which range up to 64cms (25 inches of rain).
This will lead to deadly and debilitating floods, flash floods, and mudslides in this impoverished Caribbean nation. States like Haiti and Dominican Republic have issued warnings. Hurricane Gustav will produce rainfall of 5 to 7 inches (13-18 cm) over Hispaniola, with the possibility of up to 25 inches (38-64 cm) in isolated areas.
The Hurricane Center projects that; Hurricane Gustav is to move northwest across Haiti and then south of central Cuba and toward the Gulf of Mexico and subsequently on the American Coast of Florida. Computer models used to predict Hurricane Gustav ultimate path is still not verifiable.
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