Hurricane Sandy, having strengthened considerably since slamming into Jamaica earlier, has now hit southeastern Cuba, with winds of over 160km per hour cutting power lines and blowing trees over in the city of Santiago de Cuba.
Local media reported that roaring winds had left the island's second largest city without power after the storm hit on Thursday.
Many trees were also toppled in the city, which is home to about 500,000 people and is located about 750km southeast of Havana, the Cuban capital.
At least 55,000 people had been evacuated ahead of Sandy, Cuban officials said, principally because of expected flooding.
The US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said at 09:00 GMT on Thursday morning that Sandy,
I've often wondered if the National Hurricane Center shares information with Cuba, Venezuela, and other local nations that don't like us on humanitarian grounds.
Or does our institutional hatred of these places extend to the weather, too?