Hurricane Michael is currently - as of 05:00 (Cuba time) on Tuesday, October 9 - located approximately 270 km (170 mi) north-northwest of the western tip of Cuba and moving north away from Mexico and Cuba. Hurricane warnings that had been in effect in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province have been downgraded to tropical storm warnings and tropical storm warnings that had been in effect for the Mexican coastline between Tulum and Cabo Catoche as well as the Cuban island of Isla de la Juventud have been lifted.
Flooding and power outages have been reported in western Cuba and schools have been closed. For the moment no major damage has been reported, but this could change in the coming hours as clean-up efforts get underway. Additionally, more rain with the potential to provoke further floods and landslides is forecast for the coming hours and days. Associated transportation disruptions remain possible.
Tropical storms and hurricanes are common in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea during the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30 (with the largest concentration of storms typically occurring between August and October). Researchers have predicted a slightly below-average hurricane season for 2018.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities (e.g. evacuation notices), and confirm travel plans. Remember that walking or driving through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and floodwaters can contain wastewater and chemical products; all items having come into contact with floodwater should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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