By the Caribbean Journal staff
Hurricane Irma was moving near the north coast of Cuba on Saturday evening, heading toward the Florida Keys, according to the latest projections from the NOAA.
The storm was pounding the north coast of Cuba, leading officials to evacuate even parts of Havana near the Malecon.
A number of smaller beach towns on the north coast were hammered with wind, rain and storm surge.
The storm’s eye was about 110 miles southeast of Key West on Saturday evening, and about 30 miles east-northeast of Varadero, Cuba’s popular beach destination.
While the storm had weakened from a Category 5 down to a Category 3 storm, it was forecast to restrengthen when it moved away from Cuba and approached Florida.
Caribbean territories still under hurricane warning included the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, Matanzas, and Havana, along with the Bahamian islands of Andros, Bimini and Grand Bahama.
The rest of the Bahamas has been given an “all clear” by the Bahamas Department of Meteorology, however.