Evacuation flights were suspended Saturday due to the weather.
A hurricane warning is now in effect in the provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara and Matanzas. By early Saturday, in a rare bit of good news, it looked as if some of the hardest hit islands, like Antigua and Barbuda, would avoid the worst of Jose, as the storm’s course looked set to bypass them.
Trump also owns properties in that region, including a multimillion-dollar mansion on St. Martin that is listed for sale, according to the Miami Herald.
The sheer amount of rain and water that has hit coastal villages along Cuba’s northern coast – the small fishing village of Caibarien is largely submerged.
“But Irma is much more powerful.so you should expect the figure to be much higher than this”, he told the French news channel CNews.
“Our hurricane-proof door was bending in, it was warping … and the entire house was shaking like it was an natural disaster”, she said.
Many people had left town over the past couple of days, with all foreigners urged to evacuate. The storm made landfall in Cuba’s Sabana-Camagüey archipelago, north of the eastern Camaguey province.
As Irma advanced over neighboring Ciego de Avila province, waves of between 16-and 23 feet waves (5 to 7 meters) were recorded.
The State Department has been criticized for what many considered a slow response to Irma, which affected thousands of Americans as it tore through the Caribbean.
When the hurricane hit on Wednesday, it ripped off roofs and uprooted trees, tossing cars and boats about like matchsticks.
According to the National Hurricane Centre, despite surviving the wrath of Irma, residents of Barbuda, St Martin and the Virgin Islands could be faced with 150 miles per hour winds from Hurricane Jose.
It is a shocking view, flying onto the island of Barbuda. Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne estimates reconstruction will cost $US100m.
Antigua, Barbuda’s sister island and home to about 80,000 people, was spared the brunt of the storm. Many residents there have been evacuated ahead of Jose.
Civil Defense official Gregorio Torres said authorities were trying to tally the extent of the damage in eastern Cuba, home to hundreds of rural communities.
Residents of the British Virgin Islands say they have witnessed scenes of “unbelievable” devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, and warned of widespread looting and a shortage of water and shelter for those left homeless by the storm. He said damage seems to have been concentrated in infrastructure for crops including bananas.
Just to the north, Anguilla, a 90-square kilometer island that is among several British overseas territories in the Caribbean, “received the hurricane’s full blast”, according to UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Alan Duncan.
Structures across nearly the entire island of Barbuda were demolished by the sheer force of Irma.
French President Emmanuel Macron, whose popularity has been sinking over unpopular domestic policies, held an emergency meeting as he came under criticism from stranded residents in the country’s Caribbean territories.
“Apart from the structural damage, there have sadly been reports of casualties and fatalities”, he said.