Tropical storm approches Florida coast

2013-06-06 19:18
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Miami - Tropical storm Andrea churned toward Florida on Thursday with the threat of heavy rains and tornadoes, after damaging crops in Cuba and forcing the evacuation of about 2 600 people.

As of midday the first named storm of the Atlantic season packed maximum winds of 95kph as it moved northeast at 22kph.

It was 255km west of Tampa and expected to pick up speed over the course of the day, the National Hurricane Centre in Miami said, adding that Andrea carried the potential for whipping up tornadoes in central and southern Florida.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said this hurricane season - it runs from 1 June to 30 November - will be particularly busy, with up to 20 tropical storms and as many as 11 hurricanes - and up to six of them intense.

In Cuba, rain fell for seventh straight day on Thursday as Andrea moved away from the island's western tip after forcing the evacuation of 2 600 people.

Some 30 villages were cut off by water, and in one hamlet more than 200 houses were submerged, the official newspaper Granma said

The storm also caused crop damage that is still being tallied, it added.

Read more on:    us  |  weather

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