Michael, now a Category 1 hurricane, expected to strengthen


HAVANA, Oct. 8th  (PL) The National General Staff of the Civil Defense of Cuba (Emndc) has established on Monday the Emergency Information Phase for the western provinces of the island, due to the danger represented by the rains associated to tropical storm Michael.

In its informative note number 1, the entity specified that Pinar del Río, Artemisa, La Habana, Mayabeque and Matanzas provinces, as well as the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud, are in that phase, which implies the beginning of actions aimed at preventing effects on people and the economy.

The governing bodies, state agencies, economic entities and social institutions and forms of non-state management of these territories must comply with the measures provided in their respective disaster risk reduction plans, in accordance with their particular situation,’ added Emndc.

It also called on the population to remain attentive to information from the Meteorological Institute’s Forecast Center (Insmet), to civil defense orientations, and to follow disciplined protection measures indicated by local authorities.

The Information Phase (the others are Alert, Alarm and Recovery) includes work of sanitation and pruning of trees, in the face of the dangers represented by these phenomena, such as floods and collapses.

According to the note, in the central provinces of Cienfuegos, Sancti Spiritus and Villa Clara should be increased hydrometeorological monitoring and rainfall behavior.

The Insmet warned earlier that Michael has continued in recent hours gaining in organization and intensity, until it becomes a hurricane before noon on Monday.

The authorities insist that the most important thing for Cuba is the rains associated with the tropical storm.