As Hurricane Matthew continues to slowly move towards several Caribbean islands, major preparations are underway, including the partial evacuation of the American naval base Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
Hurricane Matthew was a high-end Category 4 hurricane as of Sunday morning, slowly barreling a path towards Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas. Hurricane Warnings were in place for Jamaica, Haiti and eastern Cuba, including the Guantanamo Bay naval base in the far southeastern corner of the island nation.
The base, best known for hosting high-profile terrorism suspects, began partially evacuating on Saturday in advance of the storm, relocating at least 700 family members of military personnel to other naval stations, mostly in Florida. The base is home to nearly 6,000 people.
Guantanamo Bay sits on the exposed southeastern coast of Cuba, where significant impacts from Matthew are expected to be felt Monday and Tuesday. Lying at the mouth of a bay facing the Caribbean, the base sits at a potentially dangerous point for strong winds and, potentially more importantly, significant storm surge. Matthew’s center is expected to pass close to if not directly over the base, although current forecasts keep the eye of the storm just east of the base. That could change as forecasts are sharpened in the coming days.
Stay with WeatherNation for the latest on Matthew and the tropics.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi – Featured photo: United States Navy