Tropical Storm Eta made landfall at the Florida Keys late Sunday and was set to bring hurricane conditions after slamming Cuba and earlier cutting a deadly path through Central America and southern Mexico.
The US National Hurricane Center warned that Eta was bringing “strong winds, heavy rains, and dangerous storm surge” over portions of southern Florida and the Florida Keys.
Eta made landfall at 11 p.m. local (0400 GMT) in Lower Matecumbe Key in the Florida Keys, the NHC said, adding the “strong tropical storm” was blowing maximum sustained winds of 65 miles (100 kilometers) per hour.
A tropical storm is considered a hurricane when it hits wind speeds of 74 miles per hour.
A hurricane warning and storm surge warning were in effect for the Florida Keys, and a storm surge watch—which is of slightly lower urgency—was in effect for the state’s southern coast.
Cuba’s meteorology institute Insmet had reported Eta’s landfall earlier. The storm punished the archipelago of Jardines del Rey, but state television reported that the 600 foreign tourists vacationing there were protected.
Heavy rains were reported in the eastern half of Cuba, where authorities have evacuated thousands of people due to the risk of flooding.
President Miguel Diaz-Canel convened an emergency government meeting, and “no loss of life or significant damage to homes have been reported,” according to state media.