Cuba on cyclone alert

Havana: Cuba has sounded a cyclone alert in four provinces due to the proximity of tropical storm "Erika", which may pass the Cuban shores on Saturday, a media report said.

"The general staff of civil defence ordered a cyclone alert declared in the eastern provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Granma and Holguin due to tropical storm Erika," an official statement said.

Meanwhile, the provinces of Las Tunas, Camaguey and Ciego de Avila have activated an "information phase", which indicates they are preparing for Erika's potential arrival, Xinhua news agency reported.

The governments of these states have been ordered to evaluate the possible impact of heavy rains and landslides, especially in cities and mountainous areas, while taking measures to protect people.

According to Cuba's Institute of Meteorology, Erika is maintaining maximum sustained winds of 85 km per hour.

Cuban experts forecast that in the next 12 to 24 hours, Erika will maintain its direction and speed, crossing over the Dominican Republic on Friday and crossing the eastern half of Cuba, or close to it, on Saturday.

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