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Hurricane Ivan Lashes Cuba  - 2004-09-13

Hurricane Ivan has brushed the western tip of Cuba and is churning towards Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

The storm damaged houses in Cuba's Pinar del Rio Province, where hundreds of thousands had evacuated - and sent five-meter waves over the southern coast of the Isle of Youth, southwest of the main island.

Meanwhile, residents of the Yucatan peninsula are boarding up windows and evacuating low lying areas.

U.S. weather officials say the storm could hit the southern states of Alabama, Mississippi or Louisiana later in the week and is not expected to weaken beforehand.

Ivan continues to log winds of up to 260 kilometers per hour. The storm left at least 68 dead as it pummeled Jamaica, Grenada and the Cayman Islands.