HAVANA, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) — The eye of Hurricane Matthew entered Cuban territory at 6:07 p.m. local time on Tuesday in the eastern locality of Punta Caleta, in Guantanamo province, battering the region with strong winds and heavy downpours, the island's meteorological agency said.
Meteorologist Jose Rubiera said the eyewall of Matthew whipped up winds of up to 220 km per hour, with stronger gusts.
The expert added that farther away in Baracoa, on the northern coast of Guantanamo, the hurricane brought sustained winds of 100 km/h, heavy rains and coastal flooding.
Cuban state television broadcast images of roads in Guantanamo blocked by debris or flooding, as 3 to 5 meter waves pounded the shoreline in the province, which appears to be the most affected by Matthew.
Cuba's Civil Defense agency activated all emergency measures to minimize damage to the island's eastern region and prevent any casualties.
Cuban President Raul Castro has been in the east of the country since Saturday, supervising storm preparations in the provinces of Santiago and Guantanamo.
The last major storm to hit Cuba was 2012's Hurricane Sandy, which caused widespread damage to southeast Cuba, killing 11 people, and went on to cause catastrophic flooding in New York, after making an unexpected left turn into the U.S. Eastern Seaboard as it traveled north.