Ian threatens western Cuba after becoming a hurricane

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Hurricane Ian is rapidly strengthening – Photo: YAMIL LAGE / AFP / Getty Images.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported Monday that Tropical Storm Ian has become a Category 1 hurricane and is moving north today, threatening the western third of Cuba on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.

It is expected to reach Cuba on its way to the Gulf of Mexico as a major hurricane.

In its most recent bulletin, the NHC detailed that Hurricane Ian is strengthening rapidly and, at 09.00 GMT, was about 150 kilometers from Grand Cayman and about 510 from the western tip of Cuba.

Also, according to the NHC, the hurricane could cause “significant wind and storm surge impacts” in western Cuba, where it is expected to arrive shortly after midnight Monday (04.00 GMT Tuesday).

Hurricane warnings exist for Grand Cayman and the Cuban provinces of Isla de Juventud, Pinar del Rio, and Artemisa. Still, a new alert has also been issued for the west coast of Florida, where Ian is expected to arrive between Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

Alerts have also been issued for the Cuban provinces of Havana, Mayabeque, and Matanzas, and also for the Florida Keys.

“Rapid strengthening is expected over the next few days or so, and Ian is forecast to become a major hurricane tonight as it nears western Cuba,” the National Hurricane Center explained.