HAVANA, 26th September, 2022 (WAM) -- Tropical Storm Ian hurtled toward western Cuba on Sunday, prompting the government to evacuate tourists amid expectations of life-threatening storm surges as it turns into a hurricane on Monday, Reuters reported.
Ian had begun to strengthen over the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea late on Sunday, as it moved slowly northwestward towards Cuba, with sustained winds of 60 miles per hour (96 km per hour), the National Hurricane Centre said.
Cuba evacuated tourists on Sunday from the Isla de la Juventud, off the island's southwestern coast, as well as workers from nearby Cayo Largo, one of the country's top tourist destinations, according to official media reports.
Ports throughout the western half of Cuba were closed as early as Friday evening, and fishermen called back to harbor ahead of the pending storm, which is expected to bring heavy rainfall.
The National Hurricane Centre said Ian was expected to develop into a major hurricane in the eastern Gulf of Mexico by midweek but noted that "uncertainty in the track and intensity forecasts remain higher than usual."