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Hurricane Ike

Hurricane Ike track
Hurricane Ike track

 

Hurricane Ike was the ninth named storm, and fifth hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. It started as a tropical disturbance off the coast of Africa near the end of August and slowly developed. On September 1, it it was upgraded to Tropical Storm Ike. By late morning on September 2, Ike began to intensify again as shear relaxed a little on the system.[14] Throughout that day, deep convection developed around the center of Ike indicating that the storm was still intensifying. Again intensification stopped during the overnight hours as the structure of Ike remained mostly unchanged. Ike remained at the same intensity and structure through the early morning hours of September 3. However, by the late morning, Ike began to intensify again. The eye continued to become better defined and by mid-afternoon Ike was upgraded to a hurricane. Ike was in an area that lacked vertical wind shear and intensification was likely. Due to the lack of wind shear, Ike began to undergo explosive intensification and was upgraded to a major hurricane with winds of 115 mph (185 km/h) only three hours after being upgraded to a hurricane. During the three hour span, the pressure dropped 24 mbar (0.71 inHg). Ike continued to intensify and, by the early morning hours of September 4, was further upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale three hours later with winds of 135 mph (217 km/h) and a pressure of 948 mbar (27.99 inHg) making it the most intense storm in the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. The explosive intensification lasted roughly 24 hours as Ike intensified from a tropical storm to a Category 4 hurricane with a pressure drop of 61 mbar (1.80 inHg). By the late morning 5th September Ike began to weaken as the cloud tops around the eye began to warm. By mid-afternoon, Ike was barely a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 135 mph (217 km/h). Ike began to show signs of intensification once more during the late night hours. The eye became more clear and better defined and the clouds around the eye began to deepen and become colder. However, a later pass made by the satellite found that the northern eye wall had eroded and most of the convection was in the southern semi-circle of the storm. This indicated that Ike was continuing to weakened and it became Category Three hurricane by the afternoon hours. During the late morning hours on September 6, wind shear continued to weakened Ike to a Category Two hurricane. This weakening was short lived and Ike began to undergo another round of rapid intensification, though not as significant as the first. Ike's eye began to clear out again and had intensified into a Category Four six hours after being downgraded to a Category Two. By the early morning hours of September 7, Ike had passed directly over the Turks and Caicos Islands with winds of 135 mph (217 km/h). Environmental conditions were supportive of intensification and Ike was forecast to intensity through landfall in Cuba.

As part of a preparation againsts Ike, government of Cuba had evacuated just over one million people. It made landfall as a strong Category 3 hurricane in Holguín Province, Cuba on the evening of September 7, near Cabo Lucrecia on the northern coast. It passed across the central provinces of Holguin, Las Tunas, and Camagüey, emerging over the sea to the south of Cuba during September 8. It made landfall a second time in Pinar del Río before entering the Gulf of Mexico in the afternoon of September 9 leaving Cuba in devastation.

Damages from Ike were estimated at up to $4 billion in Cuba. In Baracoa, 200 homes were reported to be destroyed and waves were running 23 feet (7 m) high and peaked at 40 in different area's of Cuba. As Ike had made landfall on September 8 as a category three hurricane on the north coast of eastern Cuba in the province of Holguin near Puerto de Sama, its winds of about 100 mph (161 km/h) caused widespread flooding and damage to the eastern provinces. Millions of Cubans have evacuated cities along the shoreline and moved to higher grounds as meteorologists say Eastern Cuba has never seen a storm this big."These people have never seen a Category 4 - or a category 3," said Jose Rubiera a meteorologist on Cubavision. Ike had dropped to a Category One by the time it crossed the island. It crossed the western end of the island in Pinar del Rio Province, close to the path taken by Hurricane Gustav ten days previously. Another 1.6 million people had evacuated in advance of its second landfall. The western areas of Cuba, already devastated by Hurricane Gustav just 10 days before Ike hit, suffered additional major flooding from the rain and storm surge. The sugar cane crop was devastated, with over 340,000 hectares destroyed. Alongside Gustav, they were described as the "worst ever" storms by Cuban officials.

In total, seven people were killed in Cuba from Ike. The combined damage from Ike and Gustav is over $5 billion (USD).

Hurricane Ike in pictures
Hurricane Ike battering Baracoa, eastern Cuba Flooding in Baracoa, eastern Cuba after departure of Ike
Hurricane Ike strikes town of Baracoa, eastern Cuba. Many of Baracoa streets were heavily flooded.
 
Camaguey awaits arrival of hurricane Ike Flooding in central Cuba
People in Camaguey, central Cuba, awaits hurricane Ike. Torrential rain has left many streets flooded.
 
Hurricane Ike batters malecon, Havana Aftermath of hurricane Ike in Havana
Ike arrives in Havana battering its famous seafront Malecon. Aftermath of hurricane Ike in Havana.
Damage in Los Jazmines, Pinar del Rio Damage in Los Jazmines, Pinar del Rio
Damage in Los Jazmines, Pinar del Rio Damage in Los Jazmines, Pinar del Rio
 
Hurricane Ike - Sequence of Events (Public Advisories)

Havana 2008-09-10 06.00 local time – – THE GOVERNMENT OF CUBA HAS DISCONTINUED ALL HURRICANE WARNINGS AND WATCHES FOR CUBA.

2008-09-10 04.00 local time - Hurricane Ike rattled Havana after its second landfall in Cuba and is now swirling across the Gulf of Mexico on a projected path towards the Texas coast. Ike destroyed at least 16 buildings in the Cuban capital but the city was spared the extensive damage suffered in other parts of the country. The UN estimates the cost of the damage at between $3bn-$4bn. Four people died in Cuba as a result of the hurricane - the first storm-related fatalities for several years. One person was killed by a falling tree, an elderly woman died when her house collapsed and two others were electrocuted. State television said almost 1.25 million people had been moved to shelters - more than one-tenth of the island's population. The eye of the storm made its second landfall in Cuba's Pinar del Rio province, about 55 miles (90km) south-west of Havana, packing sustained winds of 80mph (130km/h). Ike first struck in Holguin province, which is home to the nickel mines, the country's top export earner. The BBC's Michael Voss in Havana says it is still too early to tell the full extent of the economic impact wrought by Ike. Tens of thousands of buildings have been damaged and crops destroyed. There is also likely to be an impact on the tourist industry, our correspondent says. The agency's director in Havana, Herman van Hooff, said that the latest storm could be a setback to restoration work. "Since the [1990s] there has been a very strong management system in place for the old Havana area, and a lot has been restored since then," he told the BBC. "There is still a lot of fabric, a lot of architecture, a lot of housing that is in a fragile state, so any impact by a hurricane, be it wind or rain, is a great concern to everybody." Cuba is still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Gustav, which hit just over a week ago, damaging almost 100,000 homes in the west of the island.

 

2008-09-09 03.00 local time - Hurricane Ike is heading towards the Cuban capital, Havana, after causing widespread flooding and damage to the country's eastern provinces. Tens of thousands of people are being moved from vulnerable areas and crumbling buildings in the capital. Ike battered the east of the island with torrential rain and giant waves on Monday, killing four people. It has weakened to a Category One storm, but forecasters say it could strengthen before hitting Havana. The hurricane first came ashore in Cuba on Monday near Punta Lucrecia in the state of Holguin, about 510 miles (825km) south-east of Havana. State television broadcast pictures of the accompanying storm surge washing over coastal defences and sending waves crashing into buildings. Sustained winds of about 160km/h (100mph) tore the roofs off many buildings, knocked down trees and destroyed crops. One person was killed by a falling tree, an elderly woman died when her house collapsed and two others were electrocuted. As Ike moved back out to sea, the US National Hurricane Center downgraded it to a Category One hurricane after its maximum sustained winds dropped to about 130km/h (80mph). However, it said a slight increase in intensity was possible if the storm's centre remained over water. The eye of the storm is forecast to continue westward along Cuba's southern coast before hitting western Cuba on Tuesday morning and emerging into the south-eastern Gulf of Mexico by Tuesday night.

 

2008-09-08 10.00 local time - – The Cuban authorities have put the entire population on maximum alert and hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated to shelters or moved to higher ground. With Hurricane Gustav striking just a week ago, Cuba's internationally acclaimed emergency services have been stretched to the limit, the BBC's Michael Voss in Havana says. "In all of Cuba's history, we have never had two hurricanes this close together," said Jose Rubiera, head of Cuba's meteorological service. A direct hit on Havana, a densely populated city of two million people, with crumbling colonial buildings, could be devastating. The capital has been put on alert as authorities prepared to evacuate residents from some of the older buildings. The United Nations cultural agency, Unesco, has offered to help the Cuban government make good any damage to heritage sites and important buildings. The agency's director in Havana, Herman van Hooff, said that the latest storm could be a setback to restoration work. "Since the [1990s] there has been a very strong management system in place for the old Havana area, and a lot has been restored since then. "There is still a lot of fabric, a lot of architecture, a lot of housing that is in a fragile state, so any impact by a hurricane, be it wind or rain, is a great concern to everybody," he told the BBC. Among those evacuated from Cuba before the arrival of Ike were 15,000 tourists.

 

2008-09-07 - Thousands of people have taken refuge across the Caribbean as one of the season's fiercest hurricanes barrels across the islands, on course for Cuba. The storm is hammering the Bahamas with 135mph (215km/h) winds and is due to hit the Cuban coast on Sunday night. Forecasters say Ike could strengthen on its way to Cuba, threatening to devastate the island's sugar cane fields and putting the crumbling colonial buildings of the capital, Havana, at risk. In Havana, residents have been stocking up on petrol, candles and canned food, after a television weather presenter said "almost the entire country is in the danger zone", AP reports. Hurricane warning is in effect for the following Cuba’s provinces: Villa Clara, Sancti Spiritus, Cienfuegos, Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Las Tunas, Granma, Camaguey and Ciego de Avila. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area withing the next 24 hours. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. At 20.00 GMT hurricane watch has been extended to the province of Matanzas and City of Havana.

 
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cuba hurricanes .org - Cuba Recent Hurricanes, Hurricane Ike