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Cubans flee from Hurricane "Irma"

Thursday, September 7th, 2017 | World News

The preparations for the arrival of Hurricane Irma have entered the hot phase in Cuba and Haiti. Haiti's Ministry of the Interior ordered the clearing of coastal areas in the north of the country.

People should be safe in higher areas, said Interior Minister Max Rudolph Saint-Albin. Civil protection set up shelters. How many people followed the call was unclear. Haiti lacks policemen and officials to enforce the order.

Evacuation centers for tens of thousands
The Cuban disaster control authorities were expecting "Irma" to reach the northeast coast of their island. In the province of Santiago, 125 evacuation centers were opened for 38,000 people. A further 20,000 people could go to neighbors or relatives in safer areas, they said. It was expected that "Irma" reached Cuba on Friday.

  The cyclone is the strongest that has been observed since the beginning of the records over the open Atlantic. With wind speeds of up to 300 kilometers, he has ravaged smaller islands in the north-east of the Caribbean. At least seven people were killed, four of them in the French overseas area of ​​Saint Martin.

Up to 37 million people affected
The Dutch authorities reported a death on their part of the island, St. Maarten. The extent of the destruction there is not yet a complete picture, said Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk.

 Residents of the Dominican Republic take the damage by "Irma" in appearance. (Source: Tatiana Fernandez / AP / dpa)

According to estimates by the United Nations, up to 37 million people could be affected by the effects of the storm in the coming days. The hurricane passed the Dominican Republic on Thursday and should then move further towards Cuba, the Bahamas and Florida.

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