Hurricane Ike continued its path of destruction Sunday afternoon in the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos, as Cuba scrambled to evacuate residents of the eastern part of the country that the Category 4 hurricane is likely to slam into later today and tonight. The storm may weaken over Cuba, although it will likely remain a hurricane and will gain strength as it leaves the island nation and travels over the Gulf, Reuters reports.
Ike has wreaked havoc on island nations already suffering from the effects of Hurricane Gustav last week, making relief efforts even more difficult.
Meanwhile, Florida communities from the Keys to Naples were evacuating and declaring states of emergency. New Orleans and the rest of Louisiana, as well as the eastern Texas coast, are well within the National Hurricane Center's projected five-day path of the storm, which is subject to change. So are rigs that supply about a quarter of US oil.
And Tropical Storm Lowell has gathered strength in the Pacific near Mexico, although it remains a tropical storm, not a hurricane, and is moving further out to sea. Tropical Storm Hanna has done its worst, drenching the US east coast but doing little damage in the country. Hanna is expected to hit the Canadian Maritimes tomorrow morning, traveling over Newfoundland Monday before heading out to sea for good.
For more on hurricanes, see our in-depth report.
Ike wind speed projections by NOAA