Tue | Oct 23, 2018

Tropical Storm Selma hits El Salvador, new storm eyes Cuba

Published:Sunday | October 29, 2017 | 12:00 AM
In this September 10, 2017, photo released by Granma, men play dominoes in the middle of a flooded street as others pull broken furniture from calf-high water in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Havana, Cuba.


Tropical Storm Selma made landfall on the coast of El Salvador yesterday with strong winds, heavy rains, and dangerous ocean swells, while another system developing in the Caribbean was on a forecast path taking it towards Cuba and then Florida.

The United States National Hurricane Centre said Selma hit El Salvador's coast in the morning before losing strength over land, weakening to a tropical depression with maximum sustained winds of 35mph (55kph).

The storm's centre was located about 45 miles (75 kilometres) east of San Salvador, and it was heading northeast at 8mph (13kph).

The centre said Selma was "expected to produce torrential rains and flash floods through today," and Salvadoran Civil Defence director Jorge MelÈndez said the rainfall would be "strong and intense".

Salvadoran authorities reported some damage, including mudslides, trees that toppled on to roads, and rivers threatening to top their banks.

In the Caribbean Sea, meanwhile, Tropical Depression 18 formed south of Cuba with winds of 35mph (55kph). It was centred about 80 miles (130 kilometres) south of Havana and moving towards the north-northeast at 25mph (41kph). Further strengthening was expected.

The hurricane centre said the depression was "producing heavy rains across central Cuba and spreading northward over the Florida Keys and South Florida".

Heavy rains were expected for The Cayman Islands, western and central Cuba, and the northern Bahamas. The centre forecast about two to four inches of rain with higher localised accumulations and possible flash floods in South Florida.