Tropical Storm Elsa: Cuba reels as storm moves towards Florida

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After causing devastation in the Caribbean, Tropical Storm Elsa is moving north towards the Florida Keys.

More than 100,000 people in Cuba were evacuated before Elsa hit on Monday, causing mudslides and “flooding rains”.

In the days before, the storm passed over the Dominican Republic and St Lucia, killing three people.

Officials in Florida have said they are “very hopeful” that they won’t have to pause rescue efforts at the site of a collapsed building in Miami.

The demolition of the partially collapsed apartment block had been brought forward, for fear that Elsa might topple the building in an uncontrolled way.Forecasters have since shifted the storm’s likely path westward, suggesting that rather than hitting Florida directly, it will only skim the state’s southwest coast.

The storm is expected to approach the Florida Keys on Tuesday.

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said at 20:00 EDT on Monday (00:00 GMT Tuesday), said Elsa had maximum sustained winds of 85km/h (50mph), as it moved north at 20km/h (13mph).

By 21:00 (01:00GMT), Elsa had moved out towards the Gulf of Mexico.

Cuba’s meteorological institute Insmet said the storm had passed through the island with winds of up to 100km/h, with “some stronger gusts”.

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