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Tropical Storm Ernesto Hits Southern Cuba 


Tropical Storm Ernesto's heavy rains and winds have hit Guantanamo Bay and other parts of southern Cuba.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm will be moving over the Caribbean island nation for most of the day Monday with winds of 72 kilometers-per-hour, well short of hurricane strength. Authorities in Cuba evacuated tens of thousands of residents Sunday.

The storm is on a path that is expected to take it across Cuba toward the Gulf of Mexico, where it could become a hurricane for a second time. It drenched Haiti and the Dominican Republic Sunday at hurricane strength, leaving at least one person dead in southern Haiti.

Residents in the Florida Keys, a string of U.S. islands dividing the Atlantic Ocean from the Gulf, are bracing for Ernesto. The National Hurricane Center has posted a hurricane watch for the southern tip of the Florida Peninsula, including the Keys and the Miami area.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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