Hurricane Sandy makes a landfall in Cuba. Photo credit to BBC News.

Cuba – Hurricane Sandy has made landfall west of Santiago de Cuba in southern Cuba, where the neighborhood boarded over windows and cleared drainage gutters in preparation for the strengthening storm that has killed 2 people in the Caribbean.

According to the US national hurricane centre, the storm hit Cuba with a maximum sustained winds of 114mph and was moving north. Hurricane Sandy is expected to remain a hurricane as it moves over Cuba and the Bahamas.

Hurricane Sandy which is the 18th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season is expected to pass to the west of the US naval base at Cuba’s Guantánamo Bay. According to Officials, there was no threat to the 166 prisoners. Sandy might bring tropical storm conditions along the south-east Florida coast by Friday morning.

Announcement from Cuba’s communist government which is famous for its quick response to natural disasters, the evacuation of about 450 tourists from beach resorts near Santiago, even though hotel personnel were not expecting any major problems.

The US hurricane centre stated that Sandy was expected to produce total rainfall of 6 to 12 inches across Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and eastern Cuba. These rains may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, especially in areas of mountainous terrain.

In Manzanillo, a city with a population of 132,000, were worried about the impact, particularly after a wet summer that left sub-soils saturated.

In Santiago, Cuba’s second largest city, tourist hotels prepared by getting generators ready and closing off some outdoor spaces and pools.

According to police, as Sandy crossed over Jamaica on Wednesday, an elderly man was killed by a huge stone that crashed into his house.

Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste, head of the country’s civil protection office said that in south-west Haiti, a woman died in the town of Camp Perrin after she was swept away by a river she was trying to cross.

Jamaican authorities closed the island’s international airports and police ordered 48-hour curfews in large towns to keep people off the streets and deter looting. Cruise ships changed their itineraries to avoid the storm, which made landfall on Wednesday afternoon near the capital, Kingston.

In some southern towns in Jamaica, several crocodiles were caught in rushing floodwaters that carried them out of their homes in mangrove thickets. One big crocodile took up temporary residence in a family’s front yard in the city of Portmore.

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