Published on : Friday, September 8, 2017
A majority of them are Canadians, and they have all been safely evacuated from beach resorts. Thereafter, its disaster alert level has been raised to maximum as Irma rapidly approached the biggest island of Caribbean on Thursday.
Most of these tourists were asked to leave from around the beaches and cays based in the exposed parts of the east and center of the island, as per the tourism ministry.
Among the evacuees were over 6,000 vacationers who had been relocated to Havana and Vardarero, based outside the danger zone, given the probable trajectory of the hurricane. Further 2,400 tourists were transferred from the exposed eastern province of Camaguey to different facilities in the interior.
Manuel Marrero who is the Tourism Minister mentioned that majority of the visitors who are Canadians account for 60% of the total number of tourists, and they have absolute protection.
Of late, Canadian tour operators have repatriated a few of their clients, he said.
With fiercest winds of 185 miles per hour (295 kms per hour), Irma has left a trail of widespread destruction across the small islands in the Caribbean, killing at least nine people.
It is ready to sideswipe Cuba in the early hours of Friday morning.
The capital of Cuba, Havana has a population of about two million outside the probable trajectory and has already been placed on a lower level of alert by the authorities.
As per the US National Hurricane Center, the eye of Irma is not likely to touch Cuba.