Hurricane Paloma with 195-km an hour windspeed hits Cuba (Lead)November 9th, 2008 - 3:05 pm ICT by IANS
Havana/Miami, Nov 9 (DPA) Hurricane Paloma, packing winds of up to 195 km per hour, slammed the central Cuban province of Camaguey overnight Saturday, the third powerful hurricane this season to lash the Caribbean island.The Cuban weather service said the storm weakened slightly from the 230 k an hour winds that had threatened. Cuban officials said they expected Paloma to leave Cuba Sunday morning headed for the Bahamas.
The National Hurricane Centre in Miami, Florida, said the storm had dropped from Category four - with winds of 230 km an hour - to Category three on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
Paloma has already buffeted the Cayman Islands on its way to Cuba, but spared the islands heavy damage, according to local officials.
The storm became a hurricane in the Caribbean Sea late Thursday.
The storm hit after dark so the extent of damage was not immediately clear.
But in parts of the Cayman Islands, hit by the late-season storm a day earlier, roofs were sheared off and an airstrip was left under two feet of water.
“There is one word to explain it: catastrophe, The Miami Herald quoted John Bogle, a Red Cross volunteer in the Caymans, as saying. “I estimate there is 98 percent damage to all the roofs that I can see.”
Cuba was struck by two powerful hurricanes, Gustav and Ike, within just seven days of each other between August and September. The island was devastated, with an estimated $9 billion in damage.
Paloma is the third hurricane and the fifth major tropical storm to hit Cuba this season.
It is the 16th storm in the current season - set to end Nov 30 - in the Atlantic Ocean.
- Hurricane Earl threatens Caribbean - Aug 30, 2010
- Category two hurricane Paula takes aim for Cuba - Oct 13, 2010
- Hurricane Katia strengthens into a major category four hurricane - Sep 06, 2011
- Category four hurricane Hilary could threaten Baja California - Sep 24, 2011
- Bermuda on alert as Hurricane Leslie approaches - Sep 07, 2012
- Hurricane Irene weakens slightly as it marches toward North Carolina - Aug 26, 2011
- Several killed on St. Vincent as Hurricane Tomas strengthens into a category two storm - Oct 31, 2010
- New depression prompts tropical storm warnings in the Caribbean - Aug 21, 2012
- Tropical Storm Paula forms in the northwestern Caribbean - Oct 12, 2010
- Hurricane Paloma hits Cuba - Nov 09, 2008
- More than 800,000 without power as Hurricane Irene slams Puerto Rico - Aug 22, 2011
- Tropical Storm Richard forms over the Caribbean Sea - forecasters - Oct 21, 2010
- Hurricane Katia weakens to category 3 storm - Sep 06, 2011
- Tropical Storm Emily forms in the Caribbean, heads for the Dominican Republic - Aug 02, 2011
- Hurricane Paloma weakens over Cuba - Nov 10, 2008