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Elsa Leaves 3 Dead, Heads Toward Cuba, Florida


Antony Exilien secures the roof of his house in response to Tropical Storm Elsa, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, July 3, 2021.

Tropical Storm Elsa left three people dead Saturday as it downed trees and blew off roofs in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The storm, which had been a Category 1 hurricane, weakened and it now heads for Cuba and Florida.

One death was reported on St. Lucia, according to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, and two deaths were reported in the Dominican Republic, according to the Emergency Operations Center.

Elsa was still a hurricane when it damaged several Caribbean islands, with Barbados among the hardest hit.

More than 1,100 people reported damaged houses, including 62 homes that collapsed. Schools and government offices were also damaged, and hundreds were without power Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

"This is a hurricane that has hit us for the first time in 66 years," Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley said Saturday, according to the AP. "There is no doubt this is urgent."

Haitian authorities used social media to alert the population about the storm, urging those living near water or mountainsides to evacuate. Downed trees have been reported there.

Late Saturday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm was about 280 kilometers east-southeast of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and was moving west-northwest at 28 kph with maximum sustained winds of 100 kph.

Elsa is forecast to strike Cuba next and then Florida. The Hurricane Center's forecast shows it bearing down on the west coast of Florida as a tropical storm by Tuesday morning. Other tracking models, though, would have the storm moving into the Gulf of Mexico or up along the Atlantic Coast.

Information from the Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.

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